Vaclav Silha, the Czech photographer, had set up his camera on the banks of the Grumeti river in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to take snaps of 50 hippos bathing in the river.
But the peaceful scene was broken when the bathers were interrupted by a crocodile.
"Mutual respect between these animals means fights occur very rarely," said Mr Vaclav, 45.
"One of the only reasons you might see a conflict is if the hippos have young and they think the little ones are under threat. That's exactly what happened here.
"The incautious croc got too close to a female who had calves and the whole group gathered into a defensive circle around them. It was a strong message for the crook to clear off.
"I have absolutely no idea why, but the crocodile suddenly raced across the backs of the hippos. I think it might have panicked and thought it was a possible escape route. I couldn't believe my eyes.
"It was the worst choice the reptile could ever have made and it was definitely its last.
"The island of hippos suddenly erupted with teeth and all I could see was the crocodile being repeatedly crushed in their huge mouths."
Crocodiles have armour-plated bodies made up of tough skin and "scutes" - bony scales on the outside of the body.
But the unlucky beast's defences were no match for the raging hippos. Described as one of the most aggressive creatures in the animal kingdom, an adult hippo can apply several tons of pressure in a single bite.
"Even the toughest crocodile could not have withstood being repeatedly bitten like that," said Mr Vaclav.
"There was no way for him to escape. A few seconds later his lifeless body slipped below the water and I didn't see him again."