Amazing & Unique! wow. Just shows us again that nature adapts to eat, to reproduce and survive. Fortunately, you were at the right place at the right time.
On the first afternoon drive with a new set of guests, Tracker Bennett Mathonsi and I decided to start out by heading down to the causeway, a low-level bridge that crosses the Sand River. A great place to begin a game drive on a warm summer afternoon. As expected we were welcomed to a plethora of bird life, the resident raft of hippos, and a lone crocodile in the far corner. All making use of a pool of stationary water on the southern side of the main channel.
We found ourselves immersed in watching the grey herons tend to their young chicks and the intricacies of the weavers’ building their nests. We were, however, mistaken to not take too much notice of the crocodile which we were soon to realise was observing every move in its surroundings. Now I must reiterate, that a sighting that I am about to share with you does not happen often and the fact that we saw this was hugely out of the ordinary and phenomenal to be able to witness.
No sooner had a terrapin appeared from the reeds just to the right of our vehicle slowly moving towards the pool to our left, the crocodile moved swiftly into action. One would have thought the terrapin would have been out of the direct line of sight of the crocodile, but we were very quickly proved wrong.
Not even 15 minutes into our first-afternoon drive were we blown away by a moment of nature at its rawest beauty. Not to mention Bennett’s excitement as he exclaimed that he had never witnessed anything quite like this in his 24 years as a tracker at Londolozi. While it was undoubtedly a first for my guests and me, it is a pure example of how tactful and cunning crocodiles can be. Crocodiles’ safety is within the water and this is where the majority of their hunting takes place, their powerful tail is what they use to propel themselves forward. Out of the water, their locomotion is somewhat significantly slower and their defences limited. Albeit they are still faster than the poor terapin.
Below is a video of our sighting, and please note that this is not for sensitive viewers!
We continued to watch the crocodile, an ancient predator if you will, eerily glide back into the waterhole and disappear beneath the surface. While terrapins are known to submerge themselves for extended periods, this terrapin didn’t stand a chance in the jaws of the crocodile. With a 4000psi (pounds per square inch) bite, although a somewhat unusual meal for a crocodile, this cunning crocodile made a quick meal of the terrapin on this particular afternoon!
Filed under Wildlife
It really was amazing! Very fortunate to witness this interaction!