This unlikely friendship offers the sweetest embrace in the wild

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Not just once, wild animals baffled the world with the affection they sometimes show to each other. Recently, a photographer caught on camera one of the sweetest moments the animal kingdom have ever offered. Two unlikely friends just showed the world that love and friendships knows no boundaries!

“Sometimes, all you need is a Hug!”


While on a safari trip, the guide and photographer Zaheer Ali, grabbed his camera to catch a glimpse of a rhino in the South African bush. Only the massive animal wasn’t alone, but surrounded by little friends – a bunch of oxpeckers. An extremely common sight in the Sub-Saharan African savanna as these two species live in some sort of symbiosis. Nevertheless, Ali couldn’t believed his eyes when spotted the massive rhino and its tiny guest sharing a very tender moment.

Gently sitting on the rhino’s horn, the red-billed oxpecker give his unlikely friend the sweetest hug. The adorable moment was caught o camera by Ali and it’s one of loveliest scene Mother Nature had offered!

“I watched as this tiny bird sharpened his beak on the horn of the rhino and it was something I’d never seen before,” Ali wrote on a Zali Safari blog post. “I picked up my camera and waited for the right moment and took the shot as the bird lay on the horn of the rhino.”

Usually, the oxpecker and the rhinos share a pretty deep connection. The tiny birds sit on the mammals back all day long, but it is actually a win-win relationship. The oxpecker feed themselves with the fly larvae found on the rhino’s skin. As they fill their bellies, these birds save the rhinos from a lot of potential problems. In the Swahili dialect, the red-billed oxpecker is named “Askari wa kifaru,” which means “the rhino’s guard.”


The red-billed oxpecker also shares this symbiotic relationship with other residents of the African savanna, such as zebra, bison or wildebeest.

h.t: teamzali | thedodo

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