April Fool’s Day. That special day when we all turn into hypervigilant sceptics to avoid being duped by tales of dragons or flesh-eating antelopes. But the past few months have brought us enough crazy stories to prove that the animal kingdom is quite incredible enough without bending the truth. Take these five completely true, not-made-up-at-all tales of animals riding on top of other animals. You just can’t make this stuff up.

The one with the eagle-riding crow

crow riding eagle_2014_11_26

What you're actually looking at is a fairly common 'mobbing' behaviour: the crow dive-bombs and harasses the larger bird to make its presence felt and to drive off the eagle enemy. Disappointingly, the crows are not plotting world domination by riding into battle on the wings of eagles.

The one with the hippo-riding heron

Yes, this totally suave-looking heron charters its own hippo when it requires passage across a lake in South Africa's Kruger National Park. One does not fly if one can cruise.

The one with the buffalo-riding genet


One also does not walk when one can ride a buffalo. This photo snapped by a camera trap in South Africa shows an emboldened little genet contentedly riding on top of a buffalo. It’s believed to be the first recorded instance of this behaviour ... though we like to think that genets regularly ride large herbivores (sometimes competing against each other in midnight jousting contests).

The one with the rhino-riding genet

Genet Riding Rhino 3 2014 09 05

You see?! Told you. Genets love riding herbivores! This is thought to be the same cat-like carnivore that stars in the image above (perhaps it’s making its way through the Big Five … any bets on which animal the adventurous genet will ride next?).

The one with the woodpecker-riding weasel


This photograph of a weasel riding a woodpecker certainly made its rounds (throw a colour-ambiguous dress in there and the internet may just have imploded). The image attracted a flurry of photoshopping accusations, but with expert testimony confirming the unbelievable incident (and the fact that multiple shots exist), it seems this weasel really did take a short flight on a woodpecker