Nature’s Law: Watch This Crocodile Assert Dominance, Steal Wild Dogs’ Meal

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: June 1, 2023
© William Steel/
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In a fairly gruesome scene, we see a pack of wild dogs dragging the carcass of a freshly killed impala. It looks like a substantial meal for the pack but the kill has caught the attention of a large crocodile. It works its way out of the water and is spotted by the wild dogs. They immediately abandon the carcass and stand and watch helplessly as the croc takes the impala into the water. Despite being outnumbered, the crocodile has no qualms about securing this carcass for itself leaving the dogs to track down another meal. Scroll down to watch the full video of this daylight robbery!

Which Predators Live With Crocodiles and Wild Dogs?

African wild dogs are known by several other names including African hunting dogs, Cape hunting dogs and painted dogs. They are found in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. As carnivores, they hunt and most mammals in the habitat, including small rodents and antelopes.

They share their habitat with other predators including lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and of course, crocodiles. In many areas they are competing for the same prey. This can result in a behavior called kleptoparasitism – where one animal takes prey caught by another. Many predators have been seen doing this including leopards and lions who, due to their size, tend to steal from hyenas and wild dogs. However, it can happen the other way around too.

Wild dogs hunting
African Wild dogs live and often hunt in packs of up to 30

©charles Hopkins/

How Does a Crocodile’s Hunting and Feeding Behavior Differ From That of Wild Dogs?

Crocs can go for long periods without feeding but wild dogs need to feed more frequently.

Wild dogs are pack animals and co-operative hunters. They typically hunt by chasing large prey for long distances across the open plains. The prey gets tired and they gather for the kill. However, in woodland savannah habitats they often hunt alone or in pairs and target smaller prey – a chase is still part of the strategy though.

In contrast, crocodiles do not chase their prey very far at all. Their hunting method involves stealth and ambush. They swim silently towards the shore and then launch their body out of the water to grab the prey. A Nile crocodile lunge can reach several times its own body length! They usually hunt alone but co-operative predation between several crocs has been seen.  

Wild dogs rip the prey apart to kill it but crocs generally drag the animal into the water and drown it. With this particular carcass, the wild dogs had saved the croc the bother!

Watch the Incredible Footage Below!

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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