Never has the saying stuck between a rock and a hard place been more apt! This poor warthog is surrounded. It is being stalked from the water where a large crocodile is sneaking up on it. There is no escape on land because terrestrial (land-based) predators namely some African wild dogs are also eyeing it up for a meal. The conclusion to the scenario is inevitable. Scroll down to see which predator gets lunch and which goes hungry.
How Do Crocodiles Normally Hunt?
Crocodiles spend most of their time in the water but that does not stop them from hunting terrestrial animals. They are usually solitary predators but have been seen using cooperative hunting (working together with other crocs) to increase their chances of success. Any animal that approaches the river or watering hole to take a drink is considered to be a legitimate target by these reptiles. They lurk silently and unseen in muddy water where their skin color and texture provide a perfect camouflage. Then, they sneak forward by walking on the bottom of the river. Crocodiles are willing to play the long game and will inch forward very gradually creating barely a ripple. As you can see in this clip, the prey is often completely oblivious to the presence of a crocodile until it is too late.
When the reptile is close enough to strike, it will lunge with lightning speed and grasp the prey and its formidable jaws. It then retreats into the water to drown the prey animal and then either eat it whole or dismember it before consumption.
How Do African Wild Dogs Normally Hunt?
African wild dogs, on the other hand, live in packs of up to 40 individuals. At the top of the social hierarchy are an alpha male and an alpha female. It is the alpha male that leads the hunt. They usually hunt in the morning and early evening. Many members of the Canidae family to which this species belongs, use their sense of smell to locate prey. This includes our pet dogs many of whom spend their lives with their nose to the ground sniffing out treats! African wild dogs, however, rely on their sight to locate their next meal. This pack may have spotted the water hog from a distance or they may have been following it to the edge of the river. The usual method is to chase the prey until it is exhausted and then attack. But on this occasion, they were beaten to it!
Watch the Action Play Out Below
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Mari Swanepoel/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.