These incredible photographs show a Hippo Bull going about its business, while tiny Oxpeckers feast on ticks embedded in its skin. The photographs were taken by Australian wildlife photographer Marc Mol, 58, at the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. He said:
Mr Mol, who now lives in Switzerland, said: ‘The pictures show a deposed hippo bull grazing on the riverbank in the afternoon.
‘I particularly like the image capturing the head on view because one gets to see just how massive these “river horses” are out of the water.
‘He was giving us a confrontational pose here and at one point I actually wondered if he was going to charge our vehicle.
‘These massive creatures are so dependent on water that their skin can dry out very quickly being out and exposed to the heat of the day.’
The birds and hippos often share a mutually beneficial relationship, with the oxpeckers helping to free the hippos of ticks and other parasites by feeding on them.