Animals

By Jamie Smith


These perfectly-timed images make a gentle giant giraffe look like a carnivorous predator as he chomps down on an unsuspecting oxpecker.

Pic by Julia Sundukova/Caters News

Julia Sundukova, from Moscow, captured the brilliant photos in the Western Kilimanjaro Park, Tanzania – but not all is what it seems.

Despite looking as if the giraffe is taking a huge bite out of one of the birds, the tiny oxpecker is actually helping to clean the giraffe‘s teeth.

Pic by Julia Sundukova/Caters News

Julia said: “A few years ago I witnessed and photographed how red-billed oxpeckers were cleaning giraffes teeth.

“Since then I dreamed to see it again. And finally it happened! And a lot! Almost every giraffe we met had birds around their mouths!

Pic by Julia Sundukova/Caters News

“I started to look more carefully and couldn’t believe my eyes; it looked like the birds disappeared in giraffes mouths! I never suspected to see giraffes in this way, but…I did!”

Julia joked that nature needs balance, and seeing as there are no lions in that part of the park, the giraffes become the predators.

Pic by Julia Sundukova/Caters News

She said: “This is a joke, of course. Giraffes are the kindest and cutest animals with many funny manners and nonе of their habits cause any problems for other species.

“For that reasons and because of their big, beautiful eyes, they are the national animal of Tanzania.”