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Battle of the beasts: Epic river stand-off between hippo herd and 100 crocodiles caught on camera

An animal war of epic proportions took place in a river when a herd of hippos stumbled on to the resting place of some very angry crocodiles.

Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captured the brutal encounter in the river of South Luangwa National Park, in Zambia, where the hungry crocs went all out to feast on the vulnerable mammals.

More than 100 reptiles descended on the river as the hippos desperately tried to escape.

One of the herd was spotted lying dead on the muddy water, surrounded by a group of the feisty crocs, while the rest made a speedy getaway upstream.

An army of crocodiles got snappy with a herd of hippos in an epic river battle. (Caters)

More than 100 reptiles descended on the river as the hippos desperately tried to escape. (Caters)

One hippo was spotted lying dead on the muddy water, surrounded by a group of the feisty crocs (Caters)
Marc said: 'I was up in a helicopter above the river in the early hours of the morning and my pilot John Coppinger and I saw around 100 crocodiles feasting on a dead hippo.
 
'The hot weather was relentless but it was likely this hippo died from anthrax which lies dormant for many years but can get stirred up if the dry season is an extended one.

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'What I did find that was most interesting was that the crocodiles appeared to be the only animals that were concerned with the micro light flying overhead.

'It could well be a throwback to the days when Pterodactyls ruled the skies.

'It was a thrilling and amazing experience, one that I'll never forget.'

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Reuters | Photo by Reuters / Reuters
Fri, Apr 11, 2014 13:00 BST