This is the agonising moment a baby hippo bravely tries to save his dying mother from a hungry lion after she became stuck in a muddy riverbank.
The desperate calf is seen roaring at the prowling lion in a David and Goliath stand off in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Kruger National Park, in northeastern South Africa, is one of Africa’s largest nature reserves, and its high density of wild animals includes the ‘Big Five’: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes.
The bravest little hippo: A baby hippo steps in to defend its mother, which had ended up stuck in mud in Kruger Park
Protector: The lion can be seen lying in wait for the dying mother hippo while her heartbroken calf circles her
Coming closer: Noticing that the mother hippo was close to death, the lion decides to move in
Lions do not tend to target an adult hippo: despite their appearance – a large body and short, stumpy legs – hippos are fast, aggressive and have very sharp teeth.
However, it would appear that the weakened hippo stuck in mud and close to dying a natural death was too good of an opportunity to miss.