A crocodile and a hippo burst from the tranquil waters straight in front of him, locking jaws in ferocious battle.
Arnaud desperately tried to refocus his camera on the river monsters as they fought on the banks of the Shire River, in the Liwonde National Park, Malawi.
As these incredible images show he captures the moment the crocodile and hippo clashed in a bloody tooth-on-tooth tussle. At first it looks like the reptile has the upper hand as its head is almost as large of the hippos but the protective mum, defending a calf, soon proves too strong sending the scaly intruder packing, bloodied and bruised.
And the kingfisher seemed completely unphased by the commotion and stayed on its perch the whole time ready for its close up. The remarkable sequence of events unfolded on Arnaud’s 32nd and last trip to the park and made for a event he would never forget.
Arnaud, 37, who has now moved to Nuneaton, Warks, said the momentous day started like any other morning with no hint of the drama to come.
He said: ‘After six years in Malawi and 32 trips to Liwonde National Park, I was on my last game drive.
‘To make the picture more interesting, there was a female hippo in the background. I started shooting with my 500mm lens and realised that there was a tiny baby hippo with the female.
‘After five very peaceful minutes and as I was still composing shots with the kingfisher and the hippos when all hell broke loose. ‘A huge crocodile – probably over 12 foot – lunged at the hippo baby but maternal instincts are very strong in the animal kingdom and mother hippos are no exception.
‘She turned very fast for such a bulky animal and met the crocodile head on. ‘When I realised what happened, I turned the camera as quickly as possible and refocused to take the fight.
‘The crocodile clamped his jaws on the bottom jaw of the mother instead of the delicious baby, it let go and tried lunging again only to be met by the angry mum again.
The Park, which has an area of just over 200 miles square, allows tourists to see different species of antelopes, large herds of elephants and more than 300 bird species. The Shire River is the most important feature of the park and boasts large concentrations of both hippos and crocodiles.
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER – Daily Mail