(Mervyn van Wyk)
Cape Town - Timing is everything when visiting Kruger... and nobody understands this better than 72-year-old pensioner, Mervyn Van Wyk.
Van Wyk and his wife Tokkie know just how lucky they were to be in the right place at the right time during "an incredible incident" in which a crocodile had his would-be wildebeest meal, foiled by to hero hippos.
He shared the video with Latestsightings.com saying, "It was a fabulous Friday morning and at approximately 09:30 we were driving close to Transport dam on the on the H1-1, about 2kilometres on the S66 between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza. "As we approached the dam we noted that blue wildebeest, zebras and impalas were happily grazing on the opposite side. I turned the car into position so that my wife had a clear view as she wanted to take a few pictures."
Van Wyk explains how they noticed that one unlucky wildebeest had been "grabbed by a crocodile on his right rear hoof".
"This began a game of tug of war that lasted for around eight minutes," says Van Wyk.
"The wildebeest would try dragging itself out of the water whilst the croc would pull it back in. You could see the exhaustion that the poor wildebeest was experiencing. Tokkie kept the cam rolling while I observed the area in close vicinity.
It was then that he noticed two hippos emerge on the scene.
"I thought more crocodiles were approaching but then saw it was actually two hippo," says Van Wyk.
"The hippos approached the scene cautiously and then suddenly sprang onto the croc forcing him to release his grip on the wildebeest."
This amazingly allowed the wildebeest a chance to escape even though he had a broken hoof.
"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."
With that in mind, the best advice in Kruger would be, "Never rush away and always be patient because these amazing sightings are everywhere to be seen".
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