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Nile Crocodile Attacking Wildebeest

 The Nile Crocodile in east Africa is the king of all it sees. No animal will openly and willingly take on a large adult Crocodile unless it has no choice while defending itself. Certainly the great herds of herbivores like the zebras and wildebeest have as much, or more, to worry about as any other creature. Their migration routes take them directly across great rivers, full of Crocodiles. 

Nile Crocodile Attacking

 It looks like a log, but they know better. These wildebeests wait for more of their kind before they try to cross the Mara River in Tanzania, the Nile Crocodile is plentiful here, in large part because of the wildebeests. Their strategy is simple, the more that cross together, the less chance any one has of being caught. Safety in numbers. 

Nile Crocodile Attacking

  Predators, like anyone else, would prefer an easy meal. No one wants to work hard if there is an easy way to go. So a young wildebeest is perfect. It’s smaller, so it’s weaker and slower; and it’s inexperience and poor jumping ability will also work in the crocodile’s favor. It’s mother waits for it, but that’s all the help she can offer.  

Nile Crocodile Attacking

 The Nile Crocodile will take any part of the body it can reach, but a leg is preferable. It unbalances the wildebeest and prevents it from jumping up the bank to safety.  

Nile Crocodile Launches Its Attack

Nile Crocodile Attacking

 Strike! From this point, unless the Nile Crocodile actually lets go for some reason, the wildebeest has no chance. Those jaws put thousands of pounds of pressure on the leg, it’s a trap that will not open. 

Nile Crocodile Attacking   The young animal makes the edge but it’s already lost the fight. The wildebeest cross here every year on their migration from dry season grasslands to rainy season grasslands. The Nile Crocodiles that stalk them here are some of the biggest crocodiles in the world, reaching 18 ft or more and upwards of 2,000 pounds. 

Nile Crocodile Attacking  The Nile Crocodile wrenches the animal down into the water, scattering and scaring off the other wildebeests  

Nile Crocodile Attacking

  The caught wildebeest is dragged away…

Nile Crocodile Attacking    …and under the water. The Nile Crocodile need not exert itself killing the animal, the water works just as well. —These scenes maybe hard to see for some, but the croc must eat, as must all predators; lions, tigers, sharks, frogs, hawks, mantises and Crocodiles. It should also be remembered that not all the young of any animal may survive in the wild. Actually much more the reverse, most young of all species will die before they reach adulthood. It isn’t pleasant but that’s how the natural world is.
Don’t blame the Crocodile for being a Crocodile.
 

All photos https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Lip Kee

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