This is the bizarre brutal moment a pack of wild dogs dared to take on and see off a massive hippo in a battle over a carcass.
In a rare sighting, the endangered African wild dogs were photographed in a grizzly tug-of-war with one of the continent’s most dangerous animals.
Hippos, although mainly vegetarian, are known to eat carrion and meat to supplement their diet.
The grizzly tug-of-war between one of the world’s most dangerous animal and the pack of wild dogs took place in South Africa’s Kruger National Park
Hippos are mainly vegetarian, but are known to eat carrion and meat to supplement their diet
The hippo initially had the upper hand over the faster but much lighter canines – with the waterbuck’s carcass being tossed around by the warring parties as if it weighed nothing
While the animals – capable of running run at 18mph – are not usually aggressive when it comes to land territory, that can change if they are not able to find enough food, Hippoworlds.com reported.
When there is a lack of water or a lack of food then they can become much more belligerent and any animal that gets in its way is likely to be attacked.
Business owner Pierries du Toit was having a picnic in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, when he encountered the action-packed scene on 1 April.
The waterbuck was fleeing from the the dogs into a water hole, but as it swam to safety the gigantic hippo emerged from the depths and killed the animal with its huge jaws
Eventually the hippo retreated to the water and the dogs seized their chance for a meal
The power of teamwork – onlookers could not believe that that dogs so small would take on and defeat something as big as a hippo
At the time South African dad-of-two Pierries, 32, was a few miles from the Satara Rest Camp in the heart of the park.
Pierries witnessed a waterbuck fleeing the dogs into a water hole, but as it swam to safety a huge hippo emerged from the depths and killed the animal with its huge jaws.
As his amazing pictures show, the hippo initially had the upper hand over the faster but much lighter canines.
The waterbuck’s carcass was tossed around by the warring parties as if it weighed nothing, but eventually the hippo retreated to the water and the dogs seized their chance for a meal.
Pierries said the whole scene lasted around an hour.
‘The dogs initially chased the waterbuck into the water, but the hippo charged it and grabbed it, so didn’t end well for the waterbuck.
‘We were about 200 metres from the action, I couldn’t believe that dogs that small would take on something as big as a hippo.
‘I’ve never heard of this happening before. The hippo was obviously grumpy as it had lots of scars on its body from what must have been some encounter with another animal.’