By Tom Gillespie @TomGillespie1

AN ELEGANT hippo falls back in the water and raises its leg in the air - with the style and grace of a synchronised swimmer

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The hippo keeps his front legs close to his chest as he executes his distinguished routine

The majestic animal put on an incredible spectacle for tourists, who were expecting to see an aggressive male.

But when they encountered the hippo bull its head was completely submerged, and only his underbelly and feet were showing above the surface.

It's all in the wrist: The talented hippo provided a wonderful display for tourists

Czech photographer Jan Hrbacek watched the animal's distinguished moves while on a guided boat trip in St Lucia, South Africa, in September.

He said: "It was late afternoon, our boat driver said - 'behind the next corner we will see an old and aggressive hippo bull.'

The large animal rolls over in the water as it shows off its synchronised swimming skills

"But it was actually very funny. We saw a hippo bull not being aggressive at all.

"He was playing in the water like a synchronised swimmer.

"I felt like I was in the theatre, the only thing missing was the music."

The hippo shows off its enormous jaws after putting on an incredible display

As well as executing some elegant moves, the refined hippo showed off its enormous jaws by swimming through the water with its mouth open.

St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal has South Africa's largest population of hippos, and the animals have even been spotted walking around the local towns.