Watch Say awwww! Cute bird gives giraffe a free dental check up as it pecks away at bits between its teeth
Going to the dentist is a tiresome experience at best, and judging by this scene, it seems it is no different in the wild.
These pictures show a giraffe waiting for a red-billed oxpecker to finish working as its dentist, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania.
However, despite the kind gesture from his bird-friend, the giraffe appears to be anything but grateful as it pulls a series of grumpy faces during the ‘check-up’.
Thorough clean: The tiny bird pecks its way around the giraffe’s lower jaw, looking for ‘leftovers’
Open wide: A giraffe gets a thorough dental check-up by a red-billed oxpecker in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania
The red-billed oxpecker is a common sight on the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, where they often spend their day perched on large wild mammals.
Their favourite foods are ticks and blood, and ‘hunt’ in the backs of antelopes, zebras and giraffes – and evidently also their gums.
The amazing images were taken by Yulia Sundukova, a 36-year-old photographer from Moscow, Russia, lat month.
‘It was so funny to witness – everything about it was like a trip to the dentist,’ Ms Sundukova said.
You done yet? The giraffe pulls a grumpy face as it grows impatient with it’s ‘dental appointment’
Sigh: In a slightly ungrateful move, the giraffe appears to have shut it’s mouth while the bird is still inside
Not unusual: Red-billed oxpeckers are native to sub-Saharan Africa and make a habit of perching on large wild mammals – feeding on blood and ticks
‘The bird flew up and started picking food from the giraffe’s teeth and stuck at it even as the giraffe stood there looking really grumpy and impatient.
‘The funniest thing about it was the way the giraffe was standing, it reminded me of how people behave when they’re at the dentist – it just wanted the visit to end as soon as possible.
‘It’s an amazing relationship – the birds pick out food from their teeth and they’re always following big animals like buffalos, giraffes, antelopes and others.
‘They help each other out – the birds get nice food like ticks and larva while the giraffes get nice healthy teeth.
‘The birds can even warn them about danger.’