Dozens of turtles catch a ride on the back of a hippo in South Africa

All aboard! Dozens of turtles catch a free ride on the back of a hippo in South Africa

  • The hippo seems unfazed by his little passengers who are enjoying their ride 
  • Simon Smith took the images while visiting Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • He thinks the turtles were looking for a spot to sunbathe and so chose the hippo

A group of cheeky turtles have caught a free ride on the back of a hippo in South Africa.

Simon Smith, 35, caught the reptiles – also known as terrapins – riding on the back of the hippopotamus while visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa. 

The property consultant from Durban thinks the turtles were looking for a spot to sunbathe and so they chose the hippo’s back.

The group of cheeky turtles seems to be enjoying their free ride on the back of a hippo

The hippo seems untroubled by his little passengers who are enjoying their free ride.

Simon, who took the images in August, said: ‘I think what made this particular sighting unique is the sheer number of terrapin on the back of the hippo, as well as how close I was to the sighting.

‘The terrapins, being ectothermic, were looking to warm their bodies in the sun.


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The photographer believes the terrapins were looking for a place to sunbathe when they spotted the hippo and decided to go on a free ride on his back

‘They will normally scramble onto any rock or log, but with this particular dam having neither – the hippo was the next logical option.

‘There’s no real symbiosis in this situation so it appears the hippo simply tolerates its little passengers.’ 

Photographer Simon Smith took the images while visiting Kruger National Park in South Africa

 

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