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Crocodiles demonstrate their incredible hunting skills and devour zebra and pelican

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

Crocodiles are ferocious predators – and these pictures show exactly why.

Two photographers captured the moment two African crocodiles demonstrated their incredible hunting skills on two very different types of prey: a pelican and a young zebra.

Wildlife photographer Ingo Gerlach was on the banks of the Mara River in Kenya when he saw a huge herd of zebras trying to cross the treacherous waters.

It seemed as if the herd had passed the expanse of water without problems but then he noticed a huge crocodile had pulled a foal under the water.

Wildlife photographer Ingo Gerlach was on the banks of the Mara River in Kenya when a crocodile tore a young zebra apart

Jen Guyton captured a crocodile enjoying a pelican supper after sneaking up on a group of unsuspecting birds in Mozambique

Jen Guyton captured a crocodile enjoying a pelican supper after sneaking up on a group of unsuspecting birds in Mozambique

He captured the moment the reptile clamped its jaws down on the zebra and tore it apart.

‘The crocodiles are very brutal. The body of the dead zebra foal is torn apart with extreme force,’ he said.

‘Crocodiles can’t bite pieces of meat off their victims. All they can do is tear it down and then gobble it up.’

A lone striped leg is seen hanging from the crocodile’s jaw as it continued eating – but nothing was left of the zebra after an hour or so, Mr Gerlach said.

Elsewhere, Jen Guyton captured a crocodile enjoying a pelican supper after sneaking up on a group of unsuspecting birds.

Mr Gerlach said he started snapping away when he saw a huge herd of zebras trying to cross the treacherous waters

Mr Gerlach said he started snapping away when he saw a huge herd of zebras trying to cross the treacherous waters

At first, it seemed as if the herd had passed the expanse of water without problems but then he noticed a huge crocodile had pulled a foal under the water

At first, it seemed as if the herd had passed the expanse of water without problems but then he noticed a huge crocodile had pulled a foal under the water

The wildlife photographer captured the moment the reptile clamped its jaws down on the zebra and tore it apart

The wildlife photographer captured the moment the reptile clamped its jaws down on the zebra and tore it apart

The ecologist and photographer’s pictures show storks and pelicans taking a drink by the Msicadzi River in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique while crocodiles are seen lurking just below the water’s surface.

Other striking images show the moment a 400lb jumps into action and snatches a pelican to devour.

But the large crocodile struggled to swallow his meal and some was eventually stolen by a smaller reptile.

Ms Guyton explained that the dry season led to desperate actions from some species but opportunities for others.

‘The desperation of some species, like fish confined to ever-shrinking pools, led to opportunities for others: birds and crocodiles gathered together at the lingering Msicadzi River in a tense truce, trawling captive fish from dawn to dusk,’ she said.

She said suddenly there was a ‘thundering splash’ and numerous pelicans ‘jolted away as it shocked by an electrical current’ – but one remained.

'The crocodiles are very brutal. The body of the dead zebra foal is torn apart with extreme force,' Mr Gelach said

‘The crocodiles are very brutal. The body of the dead zebra foal is torn apart with extreme force,’ Mr Gelach said

A lone striped zebra leg is seen hanging from the crocodile's jaw as it continued breaking down the animal with its jaws

A lone striped zebra leg is seen hanging from the crocodile’s jaw as it continued breaking down the animal with its jaws

The wildlife photographer said although it took a while, nothing was left of the zebra after an hour or so of chomping

The wildlife photographer said although it took a while, nothing was left of the zebra after an hour or so of chomping

‘It was a few moments before I realised what had happened, when a blackish sawtoothed ridge breached the surface.

‘He had been waiting for them – a male crocodile the length of a car, ancient, impossibly silent. The storks fished on, unfazed, while the pelicans still stood stunned.’

Ms Guyton said the pelican flopped about and refused to go down – and smaller crocodiles in the vicinity quickly realised what was happening.

‘They surrounded him, snapping at his jaws, tossing sharp teeth, seizing mouthfuls of feathers and tossing them back like potato chips.

Jen Guyton captured a crocodile enjoying a pelican supper in the Msicadzi River in the Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

Jen Guyton captured a crocodile enjoying a pelican supper in the Msicadzi River in the Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

The photographer's pictures show storks and pelicans taking a drink  while crocodiles are seen lurking just below the water's surface

The photographer’s pictures show storks and pelicans taking a drink while crocodiles are seen lurking just below the water’s surface

She said suddenly there was a 'thundering splash' and numerous pelicans 'jolted away as it shocked by an electrical current' 

She said suddenly there was a ‘thundering splash’ and numerous pelicans ‘jolted away as it shocked by an electrical current’ 

Ms Guyton explained that the dry season led to desperate actions from some species but opportunities for others

Ms Guyton explained that the dry season led to desperate actions from some species but opportunities for others

Some of the striking images show the 400lb crocodile suddenly bursting into life as it successfully snatches a pelican

Some of the striking images show the 400lb crocodile suddenly bursting into life as it successfully snatches a pelican

'It was a few moments before I realised what happened, when a blackish sawtoothed ridge breached the surface,' she said

‘It was a few moments before I realised what happened, when a blackish sawtoothed ridge breached the surface,’ she said

The photographer and ecologist described the crocodile as 'the length of a car, ancient, impossibly silent'

The photographer and ecologist described the crocodile as ‘the length of a car, ancient, impossibly silent’

The 12-foot-long crocodile is seen suddenly bursting from the water of the Msicadzi River in the Gorongosa National Park

The 12-foot-long crocodile is seen suddenly bursting from the water of the Msicadzi River in the Gorongosa National Park

‘The big croc shoved through them and swam downstream, wings still dangling, five or six smaller crocs in pursuit.

‘For the next two hours, I watched the croc swim steadily up and down the short stretch of river, pelican wings dragging. Each time he gained distance from the others, he paused, gulping desperately.

‘And each time, a wing got in the way. His pursuers caught up and surrounded him while he seemed to grow evermore desperate.

‘Eventually, a small croc gripped the pelican’s yellow bill, and with a fierce tug pulled the bird’s head from its body. In seconds, the bill had disappeared down the small croc’s throat.’

She added: ‘It was a hidden blessing for the big croc: his food more streamlined, he gulped the headless bird down, its wings folding backward as he swallowed it whole.’ 

Ms Guyton said the pelican flopped about and refused to go down ¿ and smaller crocodiles in the vicinity quickly realised what was happening.

Ms Guyton said the pelican flopped about and refused to go down – and smaller crocodiles in the vicinity quickly realised what was happening.

A smaller crocodile eventually gripped the pelican's yellow bill and it disappeared down its throat within seconds, Ms Guyton said

A smaller crocodile eventually gripped the pelican’s yellow bill and it disappeared down its throat within seconds, Ms Guyton said



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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