By Hannah Stevens @hannahshewans

WILD hippo parents welcome a teeny calf into the world - just metres away from a swarm of crocodiles searching for their next meal

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Videographer / director: Barcroft Media
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne

The newborn calf swam straight toward his dad soon after birth

While other safari goers focused on the nearby wildebeest herd migrating across the Mara River, this tour group settled in to watch a new mum give birth - a rare opportunity for safari goers and guides alike.

After several hours of labour the mother finally gave birth to her calf in the waters of the Mara River

But within moments of its entrance into the world in September 2016, the excitable calf veered into the path of a crocodile.

Hippo calves are born underwater and mothers have a gestation period of eight months

Thankfully the hippo’s mother made quick work of navigating the calf away from danger and towards its father - who had been sleeping on land while its partner gave birth to their new child.

During the birth several crocodiles sat nearby after attacking several migrating wildebeest

After paddling up to its father for the very first time, the curious calf was welcomed with a gentle nuzzle while its mother kept a watchful eye on the crocodiles floating around them.

After birth the hippo swam straight toward a crocodile but its mum steered it to safety

The safari guides believe that the circling crocodiles were kept from aggressively pursuing the calf because they had already ate their fill from the migrating wildebeest herd.

Hippos typically breed every two years and give birth to a single calf at a time.