Watch Wildebeests Making a Harrowing Crossing of a Crocodile-Infested River

Crocodile and Wildebeest in Water

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: October 19, 2023

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The wildebeest – sometimes referred to as the gnu – is part of the antelope family. These animals have horns that curve and a big, box-like skull. Their hindquarters are thin and have spindly legs, whereas the front of their bodies is powerfully constructed. Wildebeests have a grey coat, a black mane, and either a black or white beard.

Don’t Miss The Video Below to Witness the Wildebeest Attempt a Crocodile-Infested River Crossing

One of the predators wildebeests have is crocodiles. In a shocking video, a herd of wildebeests is attempting to cross a river, but crocs are infesting the waters. It’s up to the gnus to figure out how to get across without getting injured. 

After assessing the situation, one of the wildebeests leads the way for a whopping two million more to follow. It feels like a scene out of The Lion King watching all of the wildebeests gallop on their way to the river. The commotion of so many animals rushing through the water gains the attention of the nearby crocodiles.

Crocodile Attack on Wildebeest

Many wildebeests don’t make it across the Mara River on their migration.


On the other side of the water, the wildebeests are met with a steep incline that they struggle to climb. This leaves many in the water longer than what is safe with the crocodiles on their way. When crocodiles hunt in water, they ambush their prey and aren’t noticeable to them until it’s too late. 

Luckily, the majority of the herd that hadn’t started crossing the river yet spots the crocodiles and halts their journey moving forward until the coast is clear. Before you know it, two crocodiles are headed straight for a yearling, hoping to get a meal out of the deal. Thankfully, the yearling gains traction and is able to quickly get away.

The young gnu’s luck didn’t last for long. As it was attempting to make it up the steep side of the river, the crocodiles returned. Unfortunately for the wildebeest, it was outnumbered by hungry crocodiles. 

For the rest of the herd, they moved downriver to find a safer place to cross. These creatures weigh between 300 and 600 pounds and have shoulders that range in size from 45 to 55 inches. In the Serengeti-Mara, wildebeests migrate in a 500–1,000-mile circuit each year. 

As they approach the open forest, they turn north and go on to the Mara. Finally, they turn south and head back home. They swim through bodies of water in such great numbers that several of them perish, suffer injuries, or become lost due to their obstinate pursuit.

Take a look at the incredible video below. It’s truly incredible to see so many of these wild animals rushing the water together in hopes of making it to beautiful, green pastures. 

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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