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Kenya’s Mzima Spring



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Blissed Out

Blissed Out
Photograph by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone

With apparent pleasure, a hippo calf allows the vigorous attentions of a Labeo, a member of the carp family. Abundant in Mzima, Labeo use their wide mouths to scrape algae, parasites, and dead skin from hippos’ hides. To solicit these welcome cleanings, hippos go to certain areas of the springs where the fish congregate and adopt a cleaning stance, stretching out their limbs to open the creases in their skin. Other fish specialize in cleaning different parts of the hippos’ bodies. Barbus, for example, cleans the cracks in the soles of the feet, and tiny Garra grazes inside wounds.



Camera: Nikon F90x
Film Type: Kodachrome 400
Lens: 20-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f2.8
Weather Conditions: Clear sky, sun behind trees
Time of Day: 7:30 a.m.
Lighting Techniques: Natural light, cc 20R filter

Special Equipment or Comments:
Subal housing with “hot head” and video assist.


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