Animals Video

By Joe McFarlane

A crafty heron caught a ride on the back of a hippopotamus and used it as a fishing boat.

One smart bird decided to hitch a free ride on the hippo so it could surf across Sunset Lake in Kruger National Park while grabbing fish with its beak.

The bizarre site was captured by retired biology professor and enthusiastic wildlife film maker Judy Lehmberg, 66, who had travelled all the way from Gardiner, Montana, to the renowned national park.

Cruising through the waters, the grey heron casually rode on the back of a giant, who didn’t seem to mind being used as a surfboard for the day.

Judy said: “When I saw the herons riding the hippos I started to laugh.

“It was really fun to see how the bird had figured out how to get dinner with less effort.

“I’ve seen a lot of hippos and a lot of grey herons, but Sunset Lake is the only place I’ve ever seen one surfing on the other.

“The hippos provide a free platform, and transport through the water, allowing the herons to hunt for fish.

“The best rides are the hippos that move through the water, rather than stay in one place, allowing the herons to see more water and have a better chance of grabbing a fish.”