March 12, 2014 2:04 PM EDT

Based on footage shot in 2012 that appeared on The Daily Mail‘s website this week, photographer Vadim Onishchenko was visiting the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya when his camera caught a gnu whose internal GPS had lead him into the mouth of a hungry crocodile. The attack was also witnessed by a group of hippos, who decided not to just sit idly by photographing the assault, but to do something about it. Perhaps they were hungry (hungry) for justice?

Whatever the reason, the hippos sprung into action, scaring off the crocodile and ushering the startled gnu to the relative safety of dry land.

Onishchenko caught the whole surprising rescue mission on camera and has a theory as to why the hippos might have leaped to the gnu’s defense. He told MailOnline: “I’ve heard of cases where the animal’s instinct is to protect other species, I think the hippo’s parental instincts took over.”

Still, be careful about getting too close to hippos. Remember the guy who got swallowed by one (and lived to tell the tale)?

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