This was when an enormous hippo appeared for the camera, popping out of a sea of water cabbages.
As the beasts surface after relaxing underwater, their heads are covered in water cabbage, giving them green crowns to camouflage them in their salad bowls.
The sleepy hippos also have a calming effect on the local birds, who come to rest on them and fly away in a hurry as soon as the giants begin to threaten each other with their teeth.
German photographer Ingo Gerlach was at Governor’s Camp, a world-famous spot for tourists on the Mara River in Kenya, to capture the scene.
“I have been photographing animals for the last 50 years, and I have never seen anything like it. The hippos always appear to be very at ease at Governors Camp, so if I stay for a few hours, I may capture some peculiar things.”
“The most obvious indication that a hippo has returned to its natural habitat is the crown of water cabbage on its head when it surfaces after an extended period beneath the surface. Many birds also flutter about in the water. ”
“All the birds are chasing after the parasites that hang from the hippos, so you frequently see swarms flocking around their ears.
“The hippos also enjoy displaying their big open mouths towards their neighbors.”