Heron fools photographer who thought it was floating on water – was actually riding on the back of hippo

A cheeky heron successfully fooled a photographer, who was led to believe that it was FLOATING ON WATER.

Heron using hippo as taxi

A heron appears to be walking on water

The crafty bird appeared to be gliding across the water’s surface, but was actually using a HIPPO for a piggyback ride.

Heron using hippo as taxi

But after a closer look, photographer, Tim Driman, noticed the heron was in fact standing on the back of a submerged hippo

Photographer Tim Driman, 66, captured the hilarious scene while he and his wife, Yvonne, were visiting the Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.

Heron using hippo as taxi

The heron manages to catch a fish after hitching a ride on the back of a hippo

Tim said that he was initially drawn to the grey heron, as its cross-water movements were unlike any he had seen before.

Heron using hippo as taxi

Luckily, the hippo didn’t seem to mind the heron using its back as vantage point for hunting fish

Having discovered that the bird was, in fact, riding on the back of a submerged hippo, Tim said that he researched the bird’s behaviour, discovering it is something quite common.

Herons use hippos’ backs as a vantage point from which to hunt on.

Tim said: “We were particularly drawn to the grey heron seemingly moving along the surface of the water without walking, when a hippo surfaced and it became clear that the bird was quite happily standing on the hippo’s back.

“Grey horns have worked out that hippos make ideal platforms from which to hunt – whether they are simply wallowing in the shallows, or walking along the bottom of a pond, river way.

“On our return back to South Africa, I researched this curious behaviour and discovered that it is in fact not uncommon and there are many commensal relationships to be found throughout nature.”