Anthony

Crocodile takes Wildebeest. WARNING - graphic images

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The wildebeest in the water was struggling.

 

"Croc's got it" said our guide.

 

The other wildebeest continued crossing – the odds of survival had just tipped in their favour.

 

The crocodile's plan was to tire out the wildebeest, and then to drown it.  The wildebeest's only hope of escape was to drag the croc to the shore of the river, where the croc might release its grip. 

 

According to the exif data, the struggle lasted almost 40 minutes.  The wildebeest did get free, but, fatally, a long way from the shore.  Probably the croc let go of the leg in order to move in for the kill. 

 

The croc sprang, and missed.  The exhausted wildebeest turned to face its tormentor.  The croc sprang again, and took a death grip.  It dragged the wildebeest under the water and, a few seconds later, the struggle was over.  The crocodile swam away with its prize.

 

The rest of the herd finished crossing, and grazed peacefully on the other side. 

 

In the Land Cruiser, we fell silent, even our experienced guide.  Watching an animal lose its life after a long struggle arouses complex emotions, perhaps more so when the animal is a mammal and the predator a prehistoric reptile.

 

I was a long way from the action, so these images are heavily cropped.

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A compelling record of the whole event.

 

I always find myself rooting for the under-dog in these situations (or Under-'Beest in this case) — even though it's a lost cause from the beginning.

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That is a great set Anthony!!! Sad, but I guess that is nature.

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That croc is huge. Well captured series

 

We have an annual migration of Homo sapiens who provide similar opportunities for our similarly huge saltwater crocs in Northern parts of Australia, even though these human holiday migrants have the advantage of warning signs advising against swimming with the crocs. Each year there are always a few two-legged meals provided for the crocs by those who choose not to believe the signs.

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Ann, Erv, Alan, thank you for your comments.

 

It is natural to side with the underdog, even though we, as apex predators, have more in common with the crocodile than with the wildebeest.   It is sad to see the animal die, but that is nature, as Erv says, and that is why the emotions are complex.

 

Australia, of course, has the biggest crocs; I remember swimming in a natural pool there where there was a sign saying "No Crocodiles".  I just hoped that the crocodiles had read the sign.

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2 hours ago, Anthony said:

....

I remember swimming in a natural pool there where there was a sign saying "No Crocodiles".  I just hoped that the crocodiles had read the sign.

the sign is true until it is not

 

Photo #2 is kind of funny when the beest looks back at the croc while it holds it's leg

Impressive series Anthony, thanks for sharing it

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Armando, Fons, thank you.  

 

Closer would have been in the water, not really where I wanted to be in the circumstances.

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