An amusing moment unfolded as a baby hippo tried to shake off a group of birds attempting to land on its back for a ride. The young hippo ran and twisted its body to eliminate the unwelcome guests, oxpeckers.
Typically, oxpeckers and hippos share a mutualistic relationship, with the birds feasting on ticks and parasites that infest hippos.
However, this baby hippo did not appreciate the birds’ presence. The amusing scene took place at South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
The calf eventually dashed toward the water to deter the birds. The oxpeckers eventually abandoned their pursuit and flew away.
Photographer Marc Mol, 56, from Switzerland, captured the comical interaction while focusing on a group of hippos.
Mol shared his initial surprise at the scene, stating, “I was at first astonished as to what was going on, seeing this baby hippo running towards me and the safety of water, and then realized it was a small flock of Ox-peckers that were the culprits.”
He found the baby hippo’s reaction to the oxpeckers quite entertaining.
According to Mol, the young hippo’s desperate attempts to remove the birds from its back lasted for about 10 seconds.
Eventually, the baby hippo will likely appreciate its feathered friends, as adult hippos benefit from the symbiotic relationship.
Mol expressed his delight at capturing the unique and amusing moment, noting the baby hippo’s expressive face as it tried to fend off the birds.
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