Cheetah Isn’t Fast Enough to Escape This Crocodile’s Deadly Attack

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Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: January 7, 2024

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Cornered crocodile fight five adult lions

Over short distances, the cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, can attain speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour. Cheetahs are popular for their golden fur covered with black dots, each in a distinctive pattern to aid in identification.

You can find cheetahs in a variety of environments throughout eastern and southern Africa, however, they favor open meadows. While these big cats are known to scare off other animals in the area, crocodiles aren’t intimidated by a kitten.

An Unfortunate Cheetah Gets Too Close To a Crocodile

Nile crocodile staying just under the water surface

You know when a crocodile could be lurking just below the surface in watering holes in



©Mari Swanepoel/

A startling video has appeared online showing a 13-foot crocodile ready to attack. You can see the croc pulling a juvenile cheetah in an ambush at a watering hole in South Africa. WildEarth safari leader Busani Mtshali, 30, from KwaZulu-Natal, captured the remarkable video. He was conducting a trip at the Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

A thirsty cheetah kitten is shown in the video going to the edge of the water for a drink. It’s completely ignorant of the fact that a crocodile lurks just below the water’s surface. The croc emerges to strike as the cheetah starts to sip water.

The cat struggles to flee as the ravenous reptile captures it between its fangs. The croc, on the other hand, is effective in pulling the poor kitten to its death. Crocodiles pursue their victims from the water, quietly tracking them. Some animals surprise their prey while drinking or bathing along the water’s edge.

Many animals, including zebras, antelopes, and mankind, fall prey to these huge creatures. A crocodile will drag its victim into the murky water and drown them once the prey has been caught.

Arguably the most heartbreaking part of this video is after the young cheetah is taken by the croc, you can see its parents standing near the water. Even in the wild, a mother watching her cub die is absolutely gut-wrenching.

As Busani commentates about how there is nothing they can do, the mother cat is pacing back and forth. She continues to look back at the water for her baby. With over 58 million views, it’s safe to say seeing something so wild and instinctual from the crocodile’s perspective leaves us, humans, in awe.

One commenter says, “Heartbreaking for the mother cheetah seeing her kid disappear in front of her in the blink of an eye, wrong place at the wrong time. There’s no mercy in the wild.”

Another person wrote, “Considering the fact that the cheetah is a predator itself and has all those instincts required deep in his DNA, shows you what of an incredible predator those crocs and gators are. The way he approached the cheetah unrecognized is barely believable.”

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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