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VIA NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Two male lions attack a young hippopotamus in recently released pictures—an encounter experts call “unusual.”

In 2006 photographer Andrew Schoeman was awoken in South Africa‘s Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve by distress calls that he soon found out had come from the hippo, which was cornered in shallow water by the big cats.

“Every time the hippo wanted to get away, the lions would go for him, and he would then retreat back into the water,” said Schoeman, according to the photo agency Zuma Press. After several hours the lions eventually overcame the hippo, drowning it.

Lions attacking a hippo -- picture

Lions hunting hippo picture

lion on top of a hippo picture

Hippo charging a lion picture

Hippo retreating to water picture

Lions killing hippo picture

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