It may be nearing the end of another long day in the African sun, but that doesn’t stop these young male hippos from having a great duel at sunset.
Wildlife photographer Mario Moreno was busy admiring the breathtaking sights around him on a peaceful evening in the Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa.
But he was suddenly disturbed by water splashing nearby, and after dashing toward the noise, he spotted the approaching hippos.
The beautiful scenery backed by a magical sunset added to the spectacle.
Spanish snapper Mr Moreno, 47, caught the battle while hunting in the area. He said: ‘The dominant male hippos will constantly mark their territory and measure against all other younger males in the same group.
‘But this is a particularly impressive scrape thanks to the fantastic scenery all around.
‘I was taking pictures nearby and have been in the area for about three hours or so; luckily I was still around as it was an incredible sight.
‘Usually, you’ll see short bursts of action that can last a few minutes, then they calm down for a while and start over again, maybe with another group member.’
After elephants and rhinos, hippos are the third-largest land mammal. Although they look like slightly larger pigs, their closest living relatives are whales and dolphins, which split 55 million years ago.
They live in rivers, lakes and swamps. They stay cool during the day by staying in water or mud while they emerge to graze on grass at night.
They are one of the most ferocious creatures in the world and are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.