A sequence of photos shows the heart-stopping moment a mother hippo saved her baby from being crushed by a massive elephant.
While on safari at Erindi Game Reserve, Namibia, photographer Quintus Strauss stumbled across a newborn hippo playing with its mother and stopped to take a photo.
Within minutes Quintus heard an angry elephant approaching the young hippo in the water.
The elephant, photographed in Namibia, can be seen approaching the baby hippo, raising its foot to squash the tiny creature
The baby’s mother snaps into action, opening her devastating jaws towards the angry elephant. Photographer Quintus Strauss said he thinks the hippo managed to bite the massive beast on the trunk
The cow (female hippo) knocks the elephant off-balance with her ferocious bite, and the giant stumbles in the water
Making a big splash, the elephant’s trunk blasts the water around the baby hippo at Erindi Game Reserve, Namibia
Pictured: The angry elephant then plunges down to crush the helpless calf, using his trunk like a hammer. Luckily the youngster escapes
Once he started snapping the sequence, the photographer, from Hoedspruit, Mopani, Zambia, witnessed the mother hippo coming to the rescue and starting to fight with the giant mammal.
Thankfully, the mother was able to protect her young and successfully fought the elephant off – leaving it in pain on its upper trunk.
Quintus said: ‘On the first day, in the early morning, we went on a game drive and returned to the lodge for breakfast.
‘The restaurant overlooks the dam and there was hippo with a newborn baby [sic].
‘After breakfast, I went to my room which was also overlooking the dam, and downloaded my photos from the morning.
‘I then heard an elephant trumpeting and water splashing so went on my balcony and saw the elephant chasing the mother hippo.
Before the elephant tries to crush the baby he chased the mother. Realizing the sheer size of her opponent, the cow scoots off up the hill
Pictured: Undated photograph of the elephant looking at the calf after it first chased the mother hippo from the watering hole
Pictured: The elephant before trying to crush the baby hippo. Thankfully, the mother was able to protect her young and successfully fought the elephant off – leaving it in pain on its upper trunk
Pictured: The hippos sharing an affectionate moment before the massive elephant interrupted
‘I went back, grabbed my camera, and came outside again and saw the elephant was walking to the baby and splashed it – then bent down to have a closer look at it.
‘The hippo mother came back and then got into a fight with the elephant – she protected her baby and the elephant got hurt on its upper trunk.
‘I think the hippo’s teeth got him.
‘Everything went calm afterward and the mother and baby went their own way..’