Crocodiles feasting on hippo

A recent video taken by Ranger Rul of a recent sighting of a group of monster crocodiles feasting on the carcass of a hippo. We heard hippos fighting a few nights before and our tracker Andries found the carcass a day later during a morning walk with guests. The scent of the carcass attracted every crocodile along the length Olifants river from many miles away. The dead hippo floated slowly downstream as the crocs fed and it eventually got stuck just below our viewing deck in front of the camp offering us an excellent opportunity to observe the daily feeding process.

I was astounded by the amount of 4 meter plus crocodiles that frequent our part of the river. These huge brutes fed first and basically demolished the carcass within a few days with scores of smaller crocs waiting patiently in the wings, keeping out of harms way. They fed mostly in peace and seemed to be sharing amicably in the spoils, but a stray bite in murky water can mean death or serious injury for a smaller crocodile and they obviously thought best to stay away knowing that their time will come.

The big crocodiles eventually left after the meat was finished leaving only small tidbits attached to the bones. Perfect for the slender mouths of the younger crocodiles to feed upon. As they say every dog has its day. Fish and other river dwellers fed next until all signs of the hippo disappeared.

A unique sighting for me, but something that has played out countless of times before. A well-drilled exercise where everyone knew its place and function as practiced through many years of evolution.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>