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.
The crafty bird appeared to be gliding across the water’s surface, but was actually using a HIPPO for a piggyback ride.
Photographer Tim Driman, 66, captured the hilarious scene while he and his wife, Yvonne, were visiting the Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
Tim said that he was initially drawn to the grey heron, as its cross-water movements were unlike any he had seen before.
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.”