Watch This Crocodile Almost Have Leopard for Dinner at the Watering Hole

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 20, 2023
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What seemed like a fairly risk-free stop-off for a quick drink, nearly turned into a fatal experience for this leopard! The leopard crouches and laps at the water, there is no sign whatsoever that danger is near. Suddenly, a few ripples become visible and a croc leaps out of nowhere and lunges at the big cat. Leopards have pretty fast reactions, and this one manages to leap backward and out of harm’s way. The croc lingers, probably hoping to have another try.

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You would perhaps expect the leopard to get away from the situation as quickly as possible. But no, this brave individual hangs around on the shore looking at the croc and shaking their paws. Then, they stride towards the water’s edge and look the croc right in the eye, as if defying the ferocious reptile. In a final act of defiance, we see the confident leopard settle down, just out of striking distance of the crocodile. That’s confidence for you!

Crocs as Hunters

Crocodiles are large reptiles that live in lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, lagoons, and estuaries. One of the very few predators that this formidable animal has is the large cats.  So, the conflict between a croc and a leopard is perhaps more evenly matched than you may suspect.

Crocs hunt with their minds as much as their bodies. They take the time to observe their chosen prey and get to know the habits of animals that come to drink the water where they are hiding out. So, it is possible that this leopard has been under croc surveillance for some time!


Crocodiles can go for three whole years without eating.


Only a large and confident croc would tackle a leopard, the younger ones rely on crustaceans, fish, and small mammals. Lying in wait is a specialist skill for crocs – they can stay in one place, partially submerged, for hours and hours. Then they pounce and use their power, sharp teeth, and strong jaws to immobilize the prey and then rip it to shreds. Because crocs cannot chew, they need to rip their food into small enough pieces to swallow whole.

Another feature of the croc hunting technique is the death roll. In this move, the croc holds the animal under the water and then rolls over and over which disorientates and confuses the prey, making them less likely to struggle and escape.

One final amazing fact about crocs is that they can go for three whole years without eating! No wonder the leopard looks so tasty to this croc.

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

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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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