The hippopotamus' tusk grows about four to five inches a year. It is necessary for?
The hippopotamus' tusk grows about four to five inches a year. It is necessary for the tusk to be cut periodically with a hacksaw to prevent it protruding through the hippo's upper lips.
Trimming the tusk is rather a tedious affair requiring great patience on the part of the cutter. Three men are required - one to hold up the giant's mouth, the second to tickle the inside of the hippo's mouth, and the third to do the cutting.
The job can be done in thirty seconds - providing the beast is in a good mood.If he isn't, then there is no knowing how long it will take. Unfortunately for our cameraman the hippo was in a bad mood all the time and it was necessary to make nine separate trips to the Zoo to complete the pictures.
When the enamel of the tusk is seen through, it is usual to knock it off with a hammer. But to the dismay of his keeper, the hippo's tusk came off while he (the hippo) was having a meal.