Baby Hippo’s Adorable Struggle to Escape Pesky Birds Captured in Photos

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.

The hippo calls out for its mother as the oxpeckers begin pecking at its back in the Zambia national park. Source: Daily Mail

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.

The hippo began running for the water to scare off the birds, who were in no hurry to leave. Source: Daily Mail

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.

Photographer Marc Mol who captured the pictures, said: ‘I love the expression on this little guy’s face as he frantically tries to fend off what he sees as annoying pests.’ Source: Daily Mail
Oxpeckers and hippos usually have a mutually beneficial relationship where the birds help free hippos of ticks and other parasites by feeding on them. Source: Daily Mail

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.

Mr. Mol said the hippo tolerated the birds for about 10 seconds before he wanted to get them off. Source: Daily Mail
The oxpeckers began to fly away as the hippo neared the water’s edge, cleared and exhausted from the ordeal. Source: Daily Mail

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