They say a mother will do anything for her child even if it means putting herself in harm’s way.
In this case, a fully-grown hippopotamus was flipped several feet into the air as she stood her ground against an aggressive elephant bull, giving her calf time to run to safety.
Amazingly, she emerged relatively unscathed from the attack suffering nothing more than a little cut on the side of her body and a rather bruised ego.
The scene was captured by wildlife photographer Rian Van Schalkwyk, 40, at the Erindi Private Game Reserve in Windhoek, Namibia.
‘I felt incredible privileged to see this. I’ve been in the bush a long time, but this was the most spectacular scene I’ve ever witnessed, I couldn’t believe it,’ the South African said.
Van Schalkwyk, who works as a GP in Rundu, a small town in the north east of Namibia, on the Angolan border, was spending a long weekend at the reserve with wife Bonnie and a host of other family members.
The spectacular scene unfolded on Sunday after lunch when all of the other guests had gone back to their rooms to sleep.