Stunning images have captured the moment a protective mother hippo lashes out at a crocodile that was just ‘minding its own business’.
The crocodile thrashes madly to break free from the hippo wraps her gigantic jaws around the reptile’s body – as her calf watches on just a hundred metres away.
The titanic tussle which broke out at the aptly-named Lake Panic in Kruger National Park, South Africa, was snapped by amateur photographer Ken Haley.
He said: ‘My first reaction was one of shock at the speed of the hippo and her level of aggression against the crocodile… The hippo must have felt that her calf was under threat from the crocodile and her protective instincts kicked in.
‘The hippo held its grip for a couple of seconds before the crocodile was able to escape into the safety of the dam. It disappeared into the water and I didn’t see it again.’
‘The crocodile was lying still on the shore pretty much minding its own business when suddenly the hippo charged out of the water and attacked the crocodile.’
Fight: Incredible images capture the moment a mother hippo wrestles with a crocodile at Lake Panic in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Tussle: The amateur photographer who took the pictures says the hippo must have felt that her calf – who was around a hundred metres away – was under threat
Struggle: The crocodile who was ‘minding its own business’ thrashes wildly to get away from the hippo who wraps her jaws around its body
Protective: After scaring away the crocodile, the mother then returns to her calf who was sitting by the edge of the lake
Peaceful: The photographer who took the pictures said: ‘The hippo held its grip for a couple of seconds before the crocodile was able to escape into the safety of the dam’