Crocodile Patiently Waits Under the Water Until Deer Wander Close Enough to Strike

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Written by Sharon Parry

Published: November 18, 2023

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Mugger Crocodile

Filmed during the dry season in southeast Sri Lanka, this stunning footage gives us a front-seat view of a mugger crocodile hunting at one of the few watering holes left. Water is a precious resource at this time of the year, but danger lurks in the depths. The clip shows us one male traveling for hours to reach what is a perfect hunting ground for him. Here, he will get the opportunity to catch a deer, providing enough food to keep him going for the rest of the dry season. However, his problem is that the prey usually knows he is there!

So, he creates a trap by digging down into the mud so that he can hide under the vegetation. As several deer approaches to drink, the reptile explodes out of its hiding place and grabs one of them. The crocodile’s plan has been a complete success.

Where Do Mugger Crocodiles Normally Live?

Mugger crocodiles are also called swamp crocodiles, and their scientific name is Crocodylus palustris. They are a native species of most of India except for small sections of the north. You can see them in an area that stretches east to Burma and west to Orion. They have been found north of Kibar and south toward Sri Lanka.

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As their name suggests, they are often found near swamps. They are most commonly found in freshwater and are, therefore, inhabitants of rivers and lakes. Alarmingly, several take up residence in village ponds and reservoirs. At the same time, some are also found in coastal saltwater lagoons.

What Do Mugger Crocodiles Normally Eat?

Mugger crocodiles are large opportunistic carnivores.

©Martin Mecnarowski/

Mugger crocodiles are large animals reaching 16 feet long and 1,500 pounds. Their rough scales and muddy brown coloring provide the perfect camouflage for hiding in dirty water. They are known to take long-distance overland treks in search of food, just like the croc in this clip.

These guys are opportunistic carnivores. They can take down any animal that is the same size as them or smaller. This includes other crocodiles.

What we see in this clip is its classic ‘sit and wait’ approach to hunting. This technique can pick off birds and bats from the water’s surface. These crocs are likely to launch themselves at any animal that comes to the watering hole to take a drink. They have also been known to attack fishermen!

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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