They are some of the most fe.ar.some creatures to stalk the waterways of Africa.
But when an a.r.my of crocodiles got snap happy with a herd of hippos, it seems that the mammals were in no mood for a f.i.ght.
Wildlife photographer Marc Mol witnessed the ignominious retreat in a river at Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, where hungry crocs were preparing to ri.p one hippo to shr.eds.
Hippos turn and run after they are co.nfr.onted with a float of crocodiles in a river at Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park
One hippo was unable to get away and lies de.ad, soon to become crocodile food
The hippos, usually considered fearsome creatures, were clearly in no mood for a f.ig.ht when confr.onted by the prehistoric sav.a.gery of the crocodiles
More than a hundred crocodiles descended on the river as the hippos ran, said photographer Mark Mol, who witnessed the scene from a microlight
Only the crocodiles seemed to be at all perturbed by the microlight flying overhead, which Mr Mol said may be a throwback to the days when pterodactyls ruled the skies
The hippos moved away upstream to find a new spot to bask in the water, keeping them cool in the relentless heat
Mr Mol saw the incredible scenes while on an early morning flight over the national park
‘It was a thrilling and amazing experience, one that I’ll never forget,’ he said
Their vi.c.ti.m lay de.ad on the muddy banks of the river, surrounded by the fe.a.rsome reptiles, while the rest of the herd turned tail. It would have been ma.d.ness to stay and f.i.ght.
More than a hundred crocodiles descended on the river as the hippos ran, said Mr Mol.
‘I was up in a helicopter above the river in the early hours of the morning and my pilot John Coppinger and I saw around 100 crocodiles fe.as.ting on a de.ad hippo,’ he told Mercury Press.
‘The hot weather was relentless but it was likely this hippo d.i.ed from a.nt.hrax which lies dormant for many years but can get stirred up if the dry season is an extended one.
‘What I did find that was most interesting was that the crocodiles appeared to be the only animals that were concerned with the microlight flying overhead.
‘It could well be a throwback to the days when Pterodactyls ruled the skies.
‘It was a thrilling and amazing experience, one that I’ll never forget.’