Paul Dunphy

Camera: Sony a1

Lens: Sony 200-600

Aperture: f/6.3

Shutter speed: 1/250

ISO: 100

Description: A heron rides on the back of a hippo. This perch protects the heron from crocodiles while also accessing deeper water and more fish.

Story from behind the lens: There's a great deal of symbiotic behaviour amongst species in the Mara that I enjoyed watching. In this scene we have a hippo wading into deep water. They stir up organic material which attracts fish to feed on. The fish also feed on parasites on the hippo's belly. Meanwhile, the heron gets access to plentiful fishing while avoiding the risk of being attacked by crocodiles. While photographing this scene I watched another hippo chase off a couple of crocodiles that came too close to the hippo pod. The photo was taken on an evening game drive as the sun was low on the horizon.