Tuesday 27 September 2016

Tourist snaps croc-on-croc fight to the death

Published 04/12/2015 | 07:01

The large crocodile hurls its smaller rival through the air before eating it at Catfish Waterhole in the Rinyirru National Park, Queensland (Sandra Bell/AP)
The large crocodile hurls its smaller rival through the air before eating it at Catfish Waterhole in the Rinyirru National Park, Queensland (Sandra Bell/AP)

Tourist Sandra Bell took a snap with a difference when a sedate scene of two crocodiles sunning themselves at the edge of an Australian waterhole exploded into violence.

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A startled Ms Bell managed to take about 20 graphic photos as a 16ft estuarine croc killed and devoured a far lighter 8ft rival in 15 minutes.

"It was super amazing but pretty terrifying as well," Ms Bell said. "It looked like it was pretty much dead pretty quickly."

The extraordinary pictures were taken at Catfish Waterhole in the Rinyirru National Park, where Ms Bell had been camping with her 14-year-old son in north Queensland state.

Without warning, the large croc suddenly clamped its jaws around the other's tail and flung the smaller croc's body repeatedly through the air and into the water.

Although Ms Bell was 100 feet away from the action on the opposite bank, she found herself backing away through fear as she continued to take photos.

"I had no idea how forceful and powerful it was," she said. "There were waves and splashes going everywhere and you could hear the little one getting thumped into the water."

Ms Bell and her son, from Shark Bay in Western Australia, were on a year-long holiday driving around the country.

Crocodile expert Grahame Webb said cannibalism was common among crocs although humans rarely witness such attacks in the Australian wilderness.

While birds and fish preyed on hatchlings, the only predator a larger croc fears is another croc, he said.

"Once a croc gets to one-to-two years old, its survival depends on how many big crocs are around," he said.

Mr Webb said the violent throwing of the smaller croc was an attempt to tear away body parts to swallow.

Press Association

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