Crocodile ‘Death Rolls’ Another Gigantic Crocodile In Kruger Battle

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: August 28, 2022
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One of the most aggressive and territorial crocodilian species is the saltwater crocodile. The territoriality of grown crocodiles, which is seen by both sexes, is particularly intolerable to other adults. Male crocodiles, especially big ones, typically have significantly larger territories. Rarely are other adults in those territories permitted for an extended period of time, especially during the mating season. 

As with many other species, crocodiles attempt to avoid actual physical violence by combining several visual, auditory, chemical, and mechanical cues. While submissive animals frequently vocalize and elevate their heads at a steep angle, dominant creatures lift their bodies out of the water.

During a trip to Kruger National Park, a group of tourists witnessed two crocodiles battle it out right in front of their eyes. The largest national park in South Africa, Kruger National Park, was also the first to be formed there. When lying on the banks of rivers, Kruger crocodiles like soaking up the sun. The largest predator in the national park’s rivers is a crocodile.

With a camera recording, you can spot one crocodile wading passed another in the water. The two are eyeing a hippo carcass that would make for a tasty lunch. Like with many wild animals, once one animal has his eyes on the prize, anyone else who gets involved better watch out. 

A Twisted Tail

Quickly, the dominant male grabs the other by the tail and begins something called a death roll.. This maneuver involves grabbing the other animal and spinning them around underwater with extreme force. Crocodiles generally do this with prey to kill them. This time, a fellow croc got too close to another’s lunch! 

The victim in the video did a clever move that likely saved his life. A commenter points it out by asking, Did anyone else see how the other croc that was getting rolled avoided the death roll by rolling with the other croc?” That’s exactly what happened! Had he not rolled with the motions and been able to breathe underwater, it would’ve been the last thing that croc did! 

Except for one species, all crocodiles die. The Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, a small crocodile species from South America, is the only one that doesn’t. Crocodile attacks pose a serious hazard to human life in select isolated areas of some African and Indian nations. Conflicts between crocodiles and humans are more likely to occur when a big number of people share a water supply with a large population of crocodiles. 

Most of Africa is home to Nile crocodiles, while India and Australia are saltwater crocodile habitats. These powerful, hostile crocodiles have a 20-foot maximum length! Crocodile assaults are thought to result in 1,000 fatalities annually. Given the number of incidents that go unreported, it is likely far higher.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © dangdumrong/

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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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