Houdini Couldn’t Explain How This Wildebeest Escaped a Crocodile’s Deadly Bite

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: March 20, 2023
© iStock.com/USO
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The Mara River, also known as “the river of death,” is infamous for its part in The Great Migration. Many animals charge down the steep banks of Mara into the dangerous waters below every year. Hippos and Nile crocodiles, the largest of their type in Africa, can be found in the Mara River. 

The river may attract elephants, elands, lions, and even leopards for a drink. Those who are lucky enough to go on an excursion might see a black rhino. Although they once roamed the Serengeti National Park in enormous numbers, these endangered species have suffered greatly due to poaching in recent years.

The Ndutu Plains and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in southern Tanzania are where the Great Migration starts. In the first six weeks of the year, immediately following the brief rains, 500,000 wildebeest calves are born. 

Predators like lions, crocs, and leopards are after the wildebeest and other grazing creatures as they travel north and clockwise toward the Serengeti as the plains begin to dry up. The Mara River crosses the wildebeests’ migration path, forcing them to cross the swiftly moving, crocodile-infested river.

The Great Escape 

Many people visit this area to experience an immersive safari adventure. Thankfully, a lot of them film shocking interactions between wildlife species. Today, we’re getting a glimpse at one of the luckiest wildebeests in the world. 

A hungry crocodile has a wildebeest in its grasp. Blood starts to pour out of the prey animal’s body as the apex predator sinks its teeth in. The wildebeest pushes its weight down and turns its head to try to bite the croc. 

Blue wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus ) being attacked by a huge Nile Crocodile.
Cold versus Warm Blooded is a bit more complex when you get down to it.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

Finally, the wildebeest makes a great escape while the crocodile attempts to reel the animal back in by grabbing onto its tail. Taking a pause to gather strength, the wildebeest makes a run for it and gets away from the crocodile! 

A comment on the video reads, “The crocodile was very kind, it took the wildebeest from the center of the water to the edge of it and then it left it to live.” Although this is true, the creature did have relatively severe injuries. 

It is likely that another animal, such as a hyena or lion, took advantage of this. Wildebeests are renowned for their exuberance, energy, and activity. The wildebeest population in Africa has increased from 250,000 living individuals in 1960 to 1.5 million as of 2020.

Take a peak at the impressive escape in the video below! 

The Featured Image

Crocodile and Wildebeest in Water
© iStock.com/USO

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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