Sabi Sands is part of the larger Kruger National Park ecosystem, and of the 4,000 kills by large carnivores that occurred at Kruger between 1988 and 2000, only one was a hippo killed by lions. Further, between 1933 and 1966 there were 46,181 kills by carnivores — only six of which were hippos killed by lions. Four of those had occurred during a severe drought, when food was scarce.
Experts think the young hippo in this battle might have been ill, making it an easy target for the lions. Eventually, the hippo lost his fight and was drowned in the river by the two lions.