By Mike Jones
A pair of rare hippo twins were caught on camera playing in the waters of a national park alongside their mother.
The images, taken by Ian Salisbury, 67, at Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, show the adorable siblings as they grow accustomed to life in the water.
Ian, who has been a Professional Safari Guide in Zambia since 1983, is also the General Manager of Mfuwe Lodge, where the Babies live with their mum on the appropriately named ‘ Hippo Pool’.
Ian said: “The babies were born on Tuesday 5th June with one actual birth being observed by guests at the spa.
“The babies were initially quite well hidden by the bank, but then started to become more active.
“From the research, I have done and from personal observation over my safari career, it seems that hippo twins are really quite rare.
Ian was lucky enough to see the birth of the twins just 50 meters away from the lodge as most animal births take place in the dense foliage of the park.
He said: “My first reaction was to go to the spa to take a look for myself. Whilst Mum was reasonably visible, I could only partially make out a baby hidden beneath a bush.
“I carefully tried to get a better view, without disturbing them and was even more surprised to see a second baby lying very still in the mud beneath the bush.
“Over the next few days I kept a close eye on things and it became obvious that both babies were doing OK, though one was much more lively and stronger than the other.
“Thankfully the second youngster seemed to get stronger and over the next week I observed both babies in the water, feeding from mother and seemingly healthy.”