A large Nile crocodile attacks a tortoise on the banks of a river. All it takes is one bit to swallow the tiny tortoise whole!
70-year-old Cees Determann was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. He captured this entire sighting and shared it with LatestSightings.com.
“We were on our way from Mopani Restcamp to Pioneer Dam. The road to there goes through a little river crossing. From the riverbed, only the sight of a few hippos was possible. We decided to stop on a loop that overlooked the rest of the river. We came into the loop, and there arrived a large herd of buffalo on the other side of the river.”
The north of the Kruger National Park is an area that is predominantly dominated by thick mopani bush that envelopes the rolling hills. The thick vegetation often makes for difficult game viewing. Visiting rivers, dams, and waterholes is often the best possible opportunity to spot something special.
“To the left of the herd, I spotted a large Nile crocodile lazing in the river. Not expecting any action, I took out my camera and began capturing images of the reptile. Then suddenly the crocodile burst into motion, and a large amount of water erupted!”
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Crocodiles are primarily predators that stalk and hunt. They frequently utilize camouflage to sneak up on unsuspecting prey. Then with the powerful muscle-filled tail, they pounce delivering a fatal bite.
“When we looked closer, the crocodile had caught a rather large leopard tortoise. With one swift motion, the crocodile had successfully caught the tortoise and cracked its shell. We sat in awe, trying to fathom what had just transpired.”
“Then, just as quickly as it had begun, it was over. In one large gulp, the crocodile managed to swallow the entire tortoise whole!”
Tortoises are very slow-moving reptiles that are not often found around water sources as they have a very unique adaptation in the form of a bursa. This is a water storage system that tortoises utilize to keep hydrated when moving around.
“Sightings like these are often unpredictable. On this particular day, we were out enjoying the beauty of nature, and we were fortunate enough for this to have happened. Kruger is not only about the big cats. It has a lot to offer if you have the time to give.”