Yesterday evening I had an unusual sighting. Two Cheetah males were drinking at a waterhole and a Giraffe bull was feeding of a tree just above them on the dam wall. They were aware of one another but decided that the distance between them was enough for comfort.
In most encounters of these two species which I have observed previously they would not have deemed this distance enough and one or the other would have moved off.
A large group of Red-billed Oxpeckers was taking a ride on the two Giraffes. Normally these small birds live in a symbiotic relationship with the long-necked mammals. The Giraffes provide the food in the form of ticks and the Oxpeckers relief them of the little pests.
But occasionally the insect-eaters turn into vampires. If the Giraffes have an open wound the Oxpeckers will keep pecking on it to keep it open end to keep the blood flowing as they love devouring blood (usually provided by the ‘filled up ticks’).