Worst Summer Swim Ever! Wildebeest Manages to Escape a Crocodile’s Jaws Twice

Written by Ryan Fisher
Updated: August 30, 2023
© Phil Hyde/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points:

  • Wildebeests follow a circular migration path annually, seeking a route that is short, offers food, and leads them to their desired destination.
  • In the summer which is also during the rainy season, wildebeests undertake their journey, often needing to go through river crossings.
  • The video below showcases the wildebeests’ crossing of rivers as part of their migration during the summer.

Just when he thought he was going to have a relaxed travel day, this wildebeest experienced a few scary surprises. In the video below, a wildebeest is trying to make his annual summer migration, which involves a lengthy swim. 

Just when you thought traveling across a river was hard enough, the wildebeest swam right into a crocodile’s path. The crocodile quickly latched on in an attempt to eat the wildebeest, dragging it under the depths of the water. Fortunately, after some fighting the wildebeest was free to continue along his swimming route. 

Right as the wildebeest was about to make it to land, a second crocodile swam close and tried to drag it under again. Luckily, the wildebeest was once again able to free itself. After a long day of swimming and evading not one, but two crocodile attacks, the wildebeest was home free to live another day! 

Why Does a Wildebeest Need to Swim? 

Wildebeest are strong enough to evade vicious predators.

©Eric Inafuku, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

You may be asking yourself, why in the world would a wildebeest need to swim for migration? The answer is plain and simple: migration. 

In general, wildebeests travel in a circular path yearly, which forms a general migration route. They need to travel on a route that is short, has food along the way, and can lead to their desired destination. 

During the summer, wildebeests travel during the rainy season, which usually requires the crossing of rivers, as shown in the video below. 

Can a Wildebeest Fight a Crocodile? 

Crocodile and Wildebeest in Water
Wildebeests do not have the characteristics required for typical fighting.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

In general, wildebeests are herbivores, meaning they do not have the characteristics required for typical fighting. For instance, they do not have sharp teeth, powerful jaws, or fearsome claws. 

Wildebeests have extremely powerful muscles that can allow them to fight and escape when they are cornered by large animals. For example, it is a common occurrence for wildebeests to escape large predators such as crocodiles, lions, and even cheetahs

In other words, where wildebeests may lack in claws and teeth, they sure make up for in bravery and strength. 

Where Do Wildebeests Migrate to? 

Part of the Great Migration, a herd of wildebeest line up to cross the Mara river in the Masai Mara national reserve
Wildebeests migrate between Kenya and Tanzania in what is known as the Great Migration.

©Danijel Mihajlovic, CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Speaking generally, wildebeests migrate between Kenya and Tanzania depending on the season. Their most impressive feat is likely the summer migration, which occurs between the months of May and June. 

During this migration, large herds of wildebeest travel together from Tanzania to Kenya, often passing through large bodies of water, such as the one in the video. 

Additionally, when resources dwindle in Kenya, and when the seasons begin to change, the wildebeests perform a fall migration back to Tanzania, although it is less of a spectacle. 


From the video shown below, it is clear that wildebeests are extremely strong and powerful creatures. Unfortunately, during their yearly migration, they often have to pass through rivers and lakes, which often pose the threat of terrifying crocodiles. 

Although wildebeests don’t have teeth or claws, they still have the sheer muscle power that it takes to escape and fight off large predators. 

If you are interested in learning more about wildebeest migration, you should look into their summer migration, which is when they travel from Tanzania to Kenya during the months of May and June.

Watch The Shocking Video Below!

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About the Author

Ryan Fisher studies biology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. His scientific interests are diverse, revolving around plants, animals, and fungi alike. In the future, he is planning on studying more botanical sciences, however he is extremely well-versed in select fields of zoology, such as entomology (the study of insects) and ornithology (the study of birds).

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