In Africa’s watery environments, there’s nothing more terrifyingly lethal than a Nile crocodile. Put one of these reptiles on dry land, however, and it’ll find itself further down on the food chain—especially if there’s a pride of hungry lions nearby. This is precisely what happened to one croc that was caught unaware on the Zambian savannah recently. A video recorded earlier this week and shared to the Nature is Metal Instagram page shows a pride of lionesses teaming up to wrestle and kill the crocodile.
This video is one of three clips recorded and originally posted by wildlife photographer Muhammad Mulla. At the start of the first clip, at least a dozen lionesses are milling around in a dry, open field. About half of them appear to be adults, and the rest are juveniles. Eventually, it becomes clear that the lions are focused on a crocodile lying on its belly in a large wallow. The larger lions tiptoe around the croc until one taps it tentatively on the snout with its paw.
The crocodile then leaps out the wallow and snaps at the lions. But the cats have power in numbers. They continue to circle the crocodile, swatting and nipping as it spins around defensively. At one point, one of the larger female lions (which happens to be wearing a tracking collar and appears to be the leader of the pack) bites down on the croc’s tail and drags it across the field. She continues to wrestle the crocodile while the others circle and keep it distracted.
Wearing down the crocodile is a slow process. By the end of the second clip, the lions are piled on top of it while the large, collared female sinks her teeth in and immobilizes it. The third and final clip shows the pride of lions finishing off the crocodile, and by the time the clip ends, the croc is all but dead.
Mulla recorded the videos on the Busanga Plains in Zambia, which is home to Kafue National Park. Spanning nearly 14,000 square miles, it’s the second largest national park in the world. The park holds nearly 160 different mammal species, including a population of roughly 200 lions. The Kafue River that cuts through the park is also well-known for the giant Nile crocodiles that patrol its shores.
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As Nature is Metal points out in a caption, however, the cold-blooded crocodiles occasionally have to leave the river to warm up and sun themselves on dry land. When they do, they’re at the mercy of the predators prowling nearby.
The post Watch: Pride of Lionesses Wrestle and Kill a Nile Crocodile appeared first on Outdoor Life.
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