A baby hippo brayed for rescue after a flock of birds landed on its back and tried to hitch a ride.
The hippo was seen running and twisting its body from side to side in an attempt to shake off his unwanted passengers.
Oxpeckers and hippos usually have a mutually beneficial relationship where the birds help free hippos of ticks and other parasites by feeding on them.
The hippo calls out for its mother as the oxpeckers begin pecking at its back in the Zambia national park
The hippo began running for the water in an effort to scare off the birds which were in no hurry to leave
Photographer Marc Mol who captured the pictures said: ‘I love the expression on this little guy’s face as he frantically tries to fend off what he sees as annoying pests’
But judging by these images the oxpeckers proved to be a far from the welcome guest.
S.hocked by the bird’s arrival on its back the calf ran towards the water in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia in an attempt to scare them off.
And it wasn’t long before they gave up trying to feed on the hippo and flew away.
Marc Mol, 56, captured the encounter while he was crouched low in a river focusing his lens on a pod of hippos.
He said: ‘I was busy concentrating on a pod of hippos, when all of a sudden I saw the baby running toward me with his pursuers.
‘I was at first astonished as to what was going on, seeing this baby hippo running towards me and the safety of water and then realised it was a small flock of Ox-peckers that were the culprits. It was very amusing to witness.
‘The baby hippo was clearly not used to the Red & Yellow oxpeckers on his back.’
Oxpeckers and hippos usually have a mutually beneficial relationship where the birds help free hippos of ticks and other parasites by feeding on them
Mr Mol said the hippo tolerated the birds for about 10 seconds before he wanted to get them off
As the hippo neared the water’s edge, cleared e.xhausted from the ordeal, the oxpeckers begin to fly away
Mr Mol, from Switzerland, said within about 10 seconds the hippo wanted the birds off his back.
He said: ‘He was attempting to rid them off his back by twisting and shaking as he scrambled back to the safety of mum and the water.’
Mr Mol said in time, the hippo will come to appreciate his feathered friends.
‘One will always see oxpeckers on the adult hippos, as they share a symbiotic relationship, but a first for me with such a young one and his associated funny antics.
‘I had a real laugh when I realized that I had captured something a little different and yet very amusing.
‘I love the expression on this little guy’s face as he frantically tries to fend off what he sees as annoying pests.’