A very ambitious Nile crocodile takes its chances with a fully grown buffalo cow as they battle it out. Who will be the victor?
Dr. Marc DeBerardinis, a doctor at Petaluma Orthodontics was lucky enough to capture the entire scene. The story and images shared with LatestSightings.com are truly remarkable.
South Africa’s Lowveld region is a region that experiences high amounts of rainfall during the summer months, which is extremely beneficial for the fauna and flora as they all thrive with the abundance of water and food. For those on safari, the large quantities of rainfall mean animals do not need to move as much in search of water and food. When they do decide to move around, the thick and lush vegetation offers amazing cover.
“We ventured down to the dam in front of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge to watch the hippos. The sun was starting to set, and the air was beginning to cool. The rumble of buffalo feet made the earth tremble as a massive herd approached the waterhole. They settled in to have their evening drink when chaos erupted from the depths of the dam.”
Buffaloes are water-dependent animals, which means they will visit water sources at least twice daily. Unlike many smaller animal species, buffalo approach watering holes and rivers with no concern or caution. Their large size makes them big enough for crocodiles to stay away.
“As the buffaloes began drinking, the eruption took place at the front of the herd. A crocodile had latched onto the snout of a massive buffalo that was drinking. I sat there in disbelief and amazement. The buffalo let out a deep bellow that echoed through the surrounding bush. The rest of the herd watched in shock. The battle continued with the buffalo trying to free itself and the crocodile holding on with all its bodily fibers.”
A sighting like this is unusual because crocodiles will not risk injury and energy loss for an animal the size of a buffalo. However, this large crocodile was perhaps desperate for a meal. Though many animals thrive during the high rainfall season. Crocodiles are among the few animals that suffer. With the ease of access to drinking water, smaller animals are not forced to venture to large watering holes to quench their thirst. This means crocodiles need to adapt and move from large river systems and dams to smaller concentrations of water in the hope of a meal.
“In the end, the buffalo broke loose and the crocodile retreated back to the safety of the water. Buffalo 1 crocodile 0”
Buffaloes are animals that are very dependent on water. They can even travel hundreds of kilometers with their flocks to find the right water source. On average, a buffalo needs to drink water at least twice a day.
The clip was filmed in Lowveld National Park (South Africa). In the video, a Nile crocodile can be seen taking its chance to attack an adult buffalo while it is drinking water.
The buffalo roared in pain when the crocodile bit him in the snout. However, due to not being dragged into the deep water, the buffalo still managed to escape.
The next dramatic seconds is a life-and-death battle between a buffalo trying to escape and the other side is a crocodile using its teeth to cling to its prey with all its flesh.
With his strength, the wild buffalo surprised when he was able to pull the crocodile tape ashore in a tightly grasped position. Meanwhile, the crocodile, although also quite large in size, but that is not enough for it to defeat an adult buffalo.
When the buffalo pulled the crocodile back to its herd, the crocodile accepted defeat because it was too far from the safe water. It loosened its jaws to free the buffalo, then quickly retreated towards the lagoon.
According to wildlife experts, a scene like the one in the video is unusual, as crocodiles rarely take risks just to injure and expend energy on an animal as large as a buffalo.
Instead, things could be easier if the crocodile’s target was an antelope, or one of the smaller animals as they ventured closer to the water to quench their thirst.
Although he caught the buffalo, in the end the crocodile still could not kill the opponent because its prey this time was too big and strong.