Watch a Lion Grab a Baby Crocodile Just Before It Springs Into the Water

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Hasty retreat, young male Lion panics at the sight of moving Crocodile
© Beate Wolter/

In a perfect world, all young animals would survive to adulthood. And they would increase the population of that species and continue the bloodline. However, as we know, we don’t live in a perfect world. And we certainly don’t live in a perfect world in the wild animal kingdom. 

If we look at young cubs and young animals of various species, we will see that they are the easiest meal. Or we guess we should say snack, for predators. Young animals are vulnerable and unable to put up much of a fight. The only thing these young animals can possibly do is run. And we can see in many instances their little legs are absolutely no match to intense predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards in the wild. 

As we can see from the video posted below, a lioness took full advantage of this situation. She came across a baby crocodile alone in the wild near this watering hole. This watering hole was in the Kruger National Park, which is located in South Africa. This tour vehicle stopped to see what this lioness was up to and if she would complete this kill.

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The lioness approaches slowly, heads down, and paws out. She is being careful not to spook this small crocodile too much. If you pause the video for four seconds, you will shockingly see this baby crocodile is actually aware of the lioness’s presence! It’s almost as if he is daring her to come at him, and he is slowly walking toward him.

However, this is short-lived. This crocodile’s fake effort to scare her off was not real. The second she sprung into action, we saw this baby crocodile take off at a high rate of speed. So much speed, in fact, that there is a cloud of dust that surrounds the lioness and the crocodile to the point we can’t even see what’s happening for a few seconds.

We are able to see this slowed down at 19 seconds. This little crocodile almost made it to the water! But this adult lioness was too quick for him. 

After the kill was over, the pride came to her, expecting that she would share. However, this lioness has no intent on sharing. This small meal is hers and hers alone.

Is It Normal Behavior For Lions to Eat Young Crocodiles?

Female lion jumping over water

Lions are sometimes documented attacking and eating baby crocodiles if other food sources are scarce.

©Foto Mous/

Lions are strong predators that have the ability to take down a wide range of prey in the wild. However, they tend to steer clear of crocodiles, usually choosing other food sources unless a lack of resources forces them to consider the risk.

It is worth noting that crocodiles have been seen on occasion, launching surprising attacks on lions while the big cats drink at watering holes from the water’s edge. Interestingly enough, lions who are known for their versatility in hunting, have also been seen engaging in opportunistic behavior.

This includes preying on and consuming baby crocodiles when the opportunity arises.

How Fast Can Crocodiles Run?

Freshwater Crocodiles sunning themselves in the Windjana Gorge National Park, Kimberley, Western Australia.

Crocodiles are carnivores.

©Kirsty Nadine/

Crocodiles that weigh up to 18-1,000 kilograms (40-2,200 pounds) and reach up to 1.7-7 meters (5.5-23 feet) long can run upwards of 25 miles per hour.

However, we know that this baby crocodile was probably not able to reach this fast speed due to his small size. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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