Earning their stripes! Zebra battle thousands of wildebeest in river crossing

Zebra crossing! Unfortunate animal clambers over wildebeest to avoid drowning after getting caught up in a migrating herd in Kenya

We’ve all heard of a zebra crossing, but here’s one animal who took the phrase a little too literally.

This is the dramatic moment a zebra was almost drowned after getting caught up in the middle of thousands of migrating wildebeest in Kenya.

The zebra’s battle was captured on camera by German photographer Ingo Gerlach, 64, in the Kenyan Masai Mara.

Ingo said: ‘I wanted to photograph the spectacular river crossings, as almost 1.7 million animals migrate across the African savannah.

A zebra was caught struggling to keep its head above water as it got caught up in the annual wildebeest migration in Kenya, when 1.7million animals travel almost 1,000 miles from the grazing lands of Tanzania to Kenya

Photographer Ingo Gerlach, 64, watched as the animal managed to get out of the water, only to risk being trampled as it tried to make its way up the opposite bank which was slick with water

Crossing the river in such large numbers makes life difficult for the wildebeest, but it also protects them from attacks by predators such as crocodiles the swim in the water

‘As I was travelling along the river I got a radio message that thousands of wildebeest and several zebras were gathering at the Serena Crossing Point. The whole area was completely covered with animals.

‘The river was very quick at this point, and the animals were nervous about entering the water. But eventually the mass of animals pushing towards the crossing forced them in.

‘There was a very steep bank up on the other side with only a few rocks to help them climb out, but these got even more slippery and wet with increasing numbers of animals. The wildebeest made life very difficult for the zebras.

‘These intelligent animals could only get through the huge numbers of wildebeest with great difficulty, and they were consistently slipping from the rocks.

‘However, they were just about able to save themselves and make it across to the other side.’

Mr Gerlach said the wildebeest made life difficult for the zebra as they scrambled up the bank, causing it to fall back several times and almost end up in the water

Mr Gerlach said he watched for several agonising moments as the zebra struggled to make it up the bank, but eventually made it to safety after climbing over the backs of the wildebeest

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