Animals not only capture our hearts with their beautiful appearances and distinctive characteristics, but they also confuse us with their passion for one another. Wild creatures have emotions like people too. Animals of other species can form mutually close bonds in some situations, which confuses us.
Zaheer Ali, a guide and photographer, recently came across a beautiful sight on a safari tour that inspired him to grab his camera and capture it. In the South African wild, a rhino was encircled by small companions, a group of oxpeckers. Since these two species exist in harmony in the Sub-Saharan African savanna, this is not an uncommon sight. The loveliest moment came when Ali noticed the enormous rhino and its small companion having a tender moment. The red-billed oxpecker, as seen in the image, sat gently on the rhino’s horn and offered his strange companion the loveliest embrace.
Ali stated on the Zali Safari blog, that he saw this tiny bird sharpened his beak on the rhino’s horn, and it was something he had never seen before, so he took out his camera and waited for the perfect moment to take the image as the bird rested on the rhino’s horn. The oxpecker and rhinos usually have a mutual interaction.
While the rhino gets a free clean, the little bird feeds ticks and parasites from the rhino’s nose and other parts of the body. The red-billed oxpecker is known in Swahili as “Askari wa kifaru,” which translates as “the rhino’s guard.” These birds also have a relationship with other African savanna mammals like zebra, bison, and wildebeest.
Ali was so astonished by their friendship then he decided to post a picture of it on Instagram with the message, “Sometimes, all you need is a Hug!” Obviously, everyone agrees that it’s one of Mother Nature’s most amazing sights! And it was a perfectly timed photograph. The two companions have just proven to the rest of the world that love and friendship have no bounds!
h/t: teamzali | thedodo