Vicious River Otters Harass a Crocodile Sporting an Amputated Tail

Written by Chris Madden
Published: November 29, 2023
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Fearless Otters Chomp On a Crocodile’s Amputated Tail Stump!

In the riveting encounter visible at the top of the page, a fearless group of otters takes on an injured crocodile. Sporting an amputated tail, the crocodile is trying to rest on a muddy patch of riverbank. As the clip starts, the crocodile is seemingly oblivious, with its back turned to the gang of otters. But the otters take the opportunity for mischief, and a few audacious otters step forward. First, they boldly chomp down on the stump of the crocodile’s tail.

Immediately, the massive reptile swiftly whips its threatening jaws around to face the otter! Intimidating other animals is easy for a crocodile, but attempting to intimidate the persistent otters proves more difficult! Momentarily scattered, the otters quickly regroup. Now the crocodile is out of the water, being baited onto dry land by the pestering otters! And they’re surrounding the crocodile completely, vulnerable outside of its aquatic element.

On this muddy riverbank (or small island, the video doesn’t show), the otters keep encircling the giant beast. Knowing that they’re much quicker on land, the otters play a risky game of tag! Risking their lives for the thrill, these river hooligans demonstrate just how playful and reckless they are! They don’t let up, darting around to keep biting on the crocodile’s tail stump. In turn, the massive reptile continuously whips around its powerful jaws, trying to send a message. That message is simple: “Leave me alone!” The video ends abruptly, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering about the outcome of this intense encounter.

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How Are River Otters This Brave and Aggressive In the Face of a Huge Predator?

Otters fighting in clear water

Otters engage in brutal battles with each other, over territory or social standing! The social dynamics within otter groups are complex!

©Zoltan Major/

River otters like in the video at the top of the page regularly show off the aggression they show towards the crocodile! This aggressive willingness to fight is a trait rooted in their territorial nature and social structure. Despite being cute, river otters are vicious predators that fiercely defend their territories. Whether it be with a crocodile or other otters, the aggression leads to intense confrontations. Between otters the fighting and conflict is particularly intense in the mating season.

Otters fight with nothing held back, biting, clawing, chasing and drowning are all part of their playbook. Doing all this to establish dominance and protect their territories, humans are lucky that otters don’t want to move into our homes! Notably, otters are known to engage in “otter gang wars.” Rival groups fiercely clash over prime hunting grounds and breeding territories, refusing to back down from each other! This aggressive behavior fuels the ‘survival of the fittest’ even within these otter gangs!

What Kind of Monster Could Possibly Injure a Crocodile as Big as This?

A Nile Crocodile, the bigger predator of the Nile River.

Crocodiles are much more vulnerable when on land. Returning to the water, this crocodile will have be better hidden and able to move much faster.


The clip at the top of the page poses a huge question, what took that crocodile’s tail? There’s a few different potential answers, and none are too pretty. Intense territorial battles among crocodiles feature the same powerful bites and ‘death-rolls’ they employ against prey. During certain seasons, some subspecies of crocodiles begin clashing more frequently. With the hyper-predatory nature of crocodiles, these reptiles even see their own kind as potential prey. Alternatively, an accidental encounter with a boat propeller could be the cause. Between the threat of other crocodiles and human impact, the crocodile’s tail could have been lost in a number of ways.

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

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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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