At the famous Crook’s Corner, where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet, which was used by criminals in the old days to escape the police, a new “crime” occurred! Crocodiles caught an unaware cow when hippos then came and stole the catch!
This bizarre, but exciting, moment was caught on film by 51-year-old Lean van Biljon, when he was on a day trip to the Kruger Park with his colleagues.
Lean tells LatestSightings.com the story:
“We went for a day trip to Kruger National park, visiting Shingwedzi and later Crooks Corner. We were in for a treat, that had multiple phases where one event triggered up opportunities for other predators to join the feast. All the action happened within +/-30 minutes!”
“On arrival, we noticed a herd of cattle walking on the sandbank towards a waterhole right in front of the picnic area where tourists can alight from the vehicle.
Some of the cattle had bells around their necks. The crocodiles reacted immediately to the sound of the bells of the cattle and started swimming towards the first herd.”
“A second herd approached the waterhole, more to the left. As there were a lot of crocodiles showing interest in the cattle, we just knew that something was about to happen! Some of the cattle from the second herd were not comfortable with “something” in the water and opened up some space between them. A late arrival entered the space and within seconds after she started drinking water, a crocodile caught the cow!”
“Many crocodiles joined in and aided the crocodile that caught the cow, to drown it. As if a crocodile hunt wasn’t enough to share with our friends and family, we were in for some more action….”
“Multiple hippos then decided to join in. We did not know what their real interest was in the cow, but they tried to take it away from the crocodiles. In some instances, we thought they were just moving the cow away from the crocodiles. In the process, it looked like they were biting it! We couldn’t say if they were trying to eat the cow or trying to “save” it.”
“Then, while looking at the crocodile’s death roles, crocs swallowing pieces of meat and hippos interfering with the crocodiles, we noticed fish jumping and getting excited, probably eating the scraps. It looked like catfish. A couple of African Fish Eagles then joined the party and made a few practice dives at the fish. Finally, we witnessed at least 3 fish that were caught by the eagles, and we managed to have two on film. This was true Fish Eagle hunting action!”
“At first, we were very relaxed. Once we arrived at the waterhole, we just appreciated nature and the fact that we see Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa at one site, not expecting anything crazy to happen. When the cattle approached, we still did not know what was going to happen. But, our relaxed feeling changed to one of anticipation as soon as the crocodiles reacted to the cattle’s bells. After we saw the crocodile catch one of the cows, we felt surprised and shock! The hippos and the fish eagles were now just the icing on the cake.”
“In Afrikaans, they say: ‘Die een se dood, is die ander se brood’, in nature, for one to live, another has to die. To see each of these interactions on their own would have been rare, but to see all at once within 30 minutes, was once in a lifetime! We are privileged to live in South Africa!”