This is the moment a baby hippo risked its life to chase away a lion which was eyeing up the calf’s sick mother.
Footage shows the young animal standing guard over its malnourished mother as a male lion approached in Kruger National Park, South Africa. But rather than fleeing from the scene, the hippo charged at the predator – forcing it to backtrack towards the Sabie River.
The dramatic video was captured by private safari director Jennie Bekker. She said the hippos were severely malnourished due to the drought sweeping the area, making them easy prey for the lion. The 35-year-old said: ‘At first I didn’t think that something amazing was going to play out when capturing the scene on my camera.
‘It felt unreal and exciting to witness the male lion trying to catch the baby hippo when it jumped on its back, but at the same time you feel sorry for the mother and the baby hippopotamus. At the end lion walked away from the encounter without his prey with some bruised egos..
‘You can see the baby really trying everything to protect the mother since the mother is to weak to defend herself.’
During the first half of 2016, Kruger National Park has had little rainfall. The lack of nutrients available to predominantly waterborne animals has seen them become easy pickings for predators