Mervyn Van Wyk and his wife Tokkie had set out on a Friday morning to the Transport Dam in Kruger National Park, South Africa. They had stopped to take pictures of blue wildebeests, – also known as gnus – zebras and impalas grazing on the other side of the dam when they noticed a disturbing sight.
A crocodile had locked its jaws onto the hoof of the hind leg of a wildebeest, and was trying its hardest to pull it into the water. After about eight minutes of a battle, the crocodile seemed headed for victory when two other figures appeared.
“I then noted what I thought were more crocodiles approaching,” wrote 72-year-old Mervyn in the YouTube description, “But then saw it was actually two hippos.” The unlikely warriors cautiously approached the scene and suddenly charged at the crocodile, giving the wildebeest a chance to escape, although with a severely broken leg.
“We could not believe the rarity of this situation. I have never seen a hippo coming to the aid of another animal, it was simply astonishing,” wrote Mervyn. However, the hippos were not necessarily knights in shining armour. As aggressively territorial animals, they were probably just chasing away the crocodile and the wildebeest, who had intruded on their turf.