The Telegraph had a report today on a unique event in Africa. Hal Brindley, an American Wildlife photographer, happened to be in the right place in the right time for this to happen. The shots come from Kruger national park.
Photo taken by Hal Brindley and destributed by Solo Syndication
The photos show a leopard (Panther pardus) taking out a Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus). The croc is smaller than the leopard, but the results are no less shocking.
Leopards, and most big cats in general, don’t go after crocodiles as a normal routine. Not only do the felines run the risk of becoming the hunted, but even if they do win (like this leopard did), there is really not a lot of meat to go around. Much of it is locked away by the bony osteoderms.
The only time I have seen a leopard take out a crocodile, was in a case where both animals were slowly starving and dehydrating. The crocodile died first, and the leopard took advantage of the free meal.
As one can see in the photo, this leopard wasn’t exactly starving, so it is hard to imagine desperation being the cause of this attack. The article also mentioned that the leopard attacked the croc on its own turf. Both situations are very unique, and make the fact that the leopard won, all the more amazing.
There was no run time given for the battle, so I’m not sure how long it lasted. Judging from some of the shots though, it must have been intense.
Nature is just full of surprises.