Fans of Disney’s Peter Pan know to ‘never smile at a crocodile’, but that does not seem to be a concern for this young hippopotamus. A resident at the Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe, George the 9-month-old hippo seems absolutely overcome with joy at the sight of the tolerant croc. According to Karen Paolillo, who took the footage, this isn’t unusual behaviour for George: ‘He does that often with crocs. It is a game just like a puppy or a kitten [would play].’
Paolillo also explained the unique relationship shared between crocodiles and hippos in general: ‘Often hippos groom crocodiles, licking their tails and hind quarter areas. They lie close together without any hassle on the sandbanks… I have never seen them disagree with each other and crocs always back down to a hippo.’
Unfortunately for George, the crocodile seems unwilling to indulge the young hippo in his playful behaviour, so he does what any rejected child would do—finds solace with his mum.