See This Determined Lion Pride Overcome a Crocodile – Eventually!

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Written by Sharon Parry

Published: November 20, 2023

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crocodile
Johan Swanepoel/Shutterstock.com

There must be at least eight lions trying to subdue a giant crocodile in this clip, and it is proving to be a pretty challenging undertaking! The bolder lions take the lead and try to attack the reptile from different directions. Most of them go for the tail because, let’s face it, the rear end of a crocodile is a safer bet than the front.

The crocodile writhes around and snaps at the big cats, who all leap out of the way. Lions usually try to dispatch their prey with a lethal bite to the throat. This crushes the trachea (windpipe) and stops the animal from being able to breathe. That isn’t proving easy with an animal with jaws as large and as powerful as this crocodile’s. At the end of the clip, it’s not entirely clear who has won, but the crocodile looks significantly depleted and is likely to be the lions’ next meal.

How Big Do Crocodiles Normally Get?

Nile crocodile Mother and hatched baby

Nile crocodiles often weigh over 1,000 pounds.

Nile crocodiles are large animals! Getting accurate data on the weight of these animals is not exactly easy. They will not cooperate readily with researchers; you need a weighbridge to record their weight accurately. They are generally regarded to weigh up to around 900 pounds. However, individuals weighing over 1,300 pounds have also been seen, and rarely they can weigh over 2,000 pounds. They usually reach about 13 feet long, but some can reach over 16 feet.

Nile crocodiles are the most enormous crocodile in Africa and the second largest species globally. You can see in this clip how long and powerful their tail and muscular bodies are. They have a narrow head, and their eyes, ears, and nostrils are positioned at the top of the skull to remain submerged in the water but still know what is happening. Their body is covered in dark olive green to gray leathery scales. However, their actual color is often obscured by layers of mud and dust. This suits the crocs fine because they are even better hidden.

Do Lions Normally Hunt Crocodiles?

Lions are mighty and skilled predators who can overcome a wide range of prey. There is no doubt that lions successfully hunt Nile crocodile hatchlings. However, not many of them are willing to take on an adult. There are documented examples of some prides that have learned to overcome crocs. Once lions have perfected this technique, they will likely do it again. However, it would usually take several lions working together to overcome a Nile crocodile.


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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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