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Egyptian geese

Valentine’s Day at the Hippo Pool

Love is on display, every day of the year at Mpala, the home of African wildlife on Explore.org. At sunrise, a family of vervet monkeys descends from the yellow acacia canopies by the Ewaso Ng’iro river. It is grooming time as the 10-50 individuals bond over a flea removal exercise.

Grooming time

Grooming time

On the opposite river bank, a hippo introduces her calf to the family. Hippo families are known to nurture and protect their young fiercely and when an unlucky animal comes between them and the pool, it can be a battle.

By mid-morning, the pool is a beehive of activity. An elephant herd comes down to the watering hole for a drink, a mud bath and a chance to teach one of their own important life lessons. A baby elephant is yet to figure out the use of its trunk. As she drops down on her knees for a drink, the watchful mother is on standby just in case the baby falls into the pool.


Ele learns to use trunk

Baby Ele learns to use her trunk

Shortly, the resident rafting team paddles by. It is the Egyptian geese flock. These water birds are excellent swimmers, but are mostly terrestrial and can be seen perching on trees nearby. A male and female in this family nest in a large variety of situations, especially in holes in trees. The female builds the nest but both sexes take turns incubating eggs and caring for their offspring.

Egyptian geese are known to pair bond for life. Male and female Egyptian geese are aggressively territorial protecting their young and often pursue intruders into the air. Because males and females look alike, Egyptian geese are sometimes identified by their calls: a hoarse hiss from the male and a hook-haah-haah-haah from the female.

Egyptian goose

Egyptian goose

As viewers on Explore.org continue to witness these and many other daily doses of love, a graceful giraffe couple walks into the picture and helps us wish you all a happy month of love.

Side by side

Victor Kasii @mpalalive