Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I need a ride... and make it snappy: Crazy crocodile crosses river on the back of a hippo


They'll never see me up here: The croc was snapped on the back of a hippo in Tanzania

How did the crocodile cross the lake?

He hopped on the back of a hippo to get to the other side.

It may sound like a joke but these amazing pictures from Tanzania capture a crazy croc doing just that.

Caught in the middle of a hippopotamus fight, the reptile grabbed on to one of the powerful mammals' backs.

The three-ton beast was so distracted by the commotion around her that she had no idea a five-year-old predator was perched on top of her.

British wildlife guide Mark Johnson took the incredible pictures while he was guiding tourists on a river safari on the Luwego River near Lukula.

Nearly there... must hold on: The croc found himself taken for a ride after a brawl between the hippopotami on the Luwego River near Lukula

The female hippo made her way to shore but ended up with the scaly intruder on her back as she emerged from the water.

Mr Johnson, who moved to Tanzania as a child, and his group watched in amazement as the croc clung on for half-a-minute before it slid into the water.

'It has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen,' he said.

Undetected: The five-year-old croc remains on top of the hippo and almost gets to the other side

'It was a gorgeous October afternoon - a peak time of year for game viewing - and we were driving up the sand banks in the middle of the river.

'It's dry at this time of year and all the animals congregate at the remaining water, bringing crocs and hippos a bit closer than they usually like.

'Two huge male bulls in close proximity erupted into a fight, causing the rest of the herd to head away.

'In the excitement I think the croc sought refuge from being stood on and had climbed on to a passing hippo's back.

'After a while the croc unceremoniously fell off her and we all burst into laughter.'

Splashdown: The crocodile was unceremoniously dumped off the hippo near the edge of the bank and swam away (at the bottom of the picture)

He showed his pictures to amused locals who confirmed they had never seen anything like it before.

Hippopotami and crocodiles do not generally interact with each other - but their love of the same water-based habitat sometimes causes unavoidable clashes.

The mighty herbivores are usually too big to be threatened by crocodiles.
'You will find many crocodiles near hippos because their diet consists mainly of fish,' Johnson added.

'The fish hang around the hippos to eat their dung. In turn the crocs eat the fish.'

Extremely heavy hippos can outrun humans. Known as one of Africa's most dangerous animals, they have been recorded running at speeds of up to 19mph on their short stubby legs.

Crocodiles live up to a staggering 150 years and can survive on just one big meal a year.

source: dailymail

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