Watch a Gigantic Crocodile Cannibalize a Smaller Croc

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 17, 2023
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Key Points:
  • Crocodiles can be found in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
  • Cannibalism has been widely reported amongst crocodiles, possibly being a response to a limited food supply or simply a way to show dominance.
  • This video shows some quite gruesome footage of a crocodile feeding on a smaller one.

Love them or hate them, crocs are unique creatures that have walked this earth for 240 million years. They pre-date the dinosaurs and descend from the Archosaurs group, which also includes the early birds. Now, they can be found in Africa, Australia, and Asia, and some are found in North America and South America.

You’d think that there was nothing they could do that would shock us anymore but this gruesome footage of a large crocodile eating a smaller one is not an easy watch. It was captured at Kruger National Park in South Africa by a visitor on a morning game drive at Sunset Dam.

Watch the Amazing Footage Below!

Slow Build to a Startling Cannibalistic End

The scene starts off quite innocently with what looks like a play fight between what could be a parent and child crocodile. Crocs are known to be highly attentive parents compared to many other reptiles. Unlike snakes and turtles, the mother crocodile returns to the eggs after she has laid them to protect them from predators. When she hears the “chirrup” sound made by newly hatched crocs she will carry them to the water’s edge in her mouth. Some moms even stick around for a few months to give their offspring the best start in life.

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Freshwater crocodile hatching, poke their head out of the egg in hatchery room at crocodile farm.

Crocodiles are surprisingly tender parents, but they’re also aggressive and territorial — and some are even cannibals!

©Arunee Rodloy/

Some viewers may think it’s a bit of playful sparing between two croc mates – even if they are very different sizes! Crocs are very territorial and both males and females will drive off invaders to protect their territory.

However, this particular encounter soon turns out to be something much more sinister! We join the action as the larger croc has the smaller one’s tail securely locked in its huge jaws. The action plays out very slowly and the video has been edited so that we can fast-forward through the action. Having been locked in this position for an age, the larger croc decides it’s time to move things along. It shakes the little croc around to disorientate it, then loosens its grip on its tail only to grab the neck in its powerful jaws.

Sadly, escape is now impossible and we enter another agonizing period where the smaller croc simply has to wait for its inevitable fate. Cannibal Croc has been playing the long game but eventually decides it’s time to take its prize into the water for the final attack. It’s hard to see what is going on in the murky waters as both crocs move downstream and further away from the cameraman. However, there are several other crocs witnessing the unhappy scene. We can only assume that the smaller croc was eventually eaten in an episode of crocodile cannibalism!

Cannibalism has been quite widely reported amongst crocodiles. It may be a response to a limited food supply or may simply be a way to show dominance. Either way, it serves as a warning that no one is safe around these magnificent and ancient creatures — not even other crocs!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Steve Byland/

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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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