When you've got 2,000 kilograms of dead and rotting hippo floating around in your river, who do you call? In Zambia's Luangwa River, you call in a "sanitation department" made up of hundreds of hungry crocodiles. 

Shenton Safaris recently shared this amazing (albeit slightly gruesome) footage of a dead hippo being torn to shreds by a bask of opportunistic crocs. The once-in-a-lifetime encounter was witnessed by guests at Zambia's Kaingo Camp, nestled on the Luangwa River.

It's thought the hippo died in a territorial clash with a rival male, but whatever the cause, it didn’t take the crocodiles long to notice the free meal – and the reptilian scavengers converged from miles in every direction.

"Over the next four days, as the odour of the rotting flesh permeated the water and flowed downstream, the number of crocodiles swelled to almost two hundred!" the Sheldon Safaris team writes on their blog. 

Park staff were initially worried that the drifting – and very odorous – dinner would spoil the air quality as it made its way downstream, but the croc crew was on top form and made short work of the carcass.

"Fortunately, the numbers of crocodiles reduced the mass of meat to a lump of floating skin by the time they drifted past our lower deck," says the team. 

You certainly couldn't ask for a more efficient waste-disposal system!


Top header image: Marco Marini, Flickr