The Mystery & Horror of How a Crocodile Hunts, This Time a Leopard Tortoise

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Crocodiles freak me out! Floating reptilian logs become stealthy death traps in an instant. The way they drop below the surface of the water and disappear in the blink of an eye. Terrestrial animals I can handle; at least with them you can watch them move, but as for those that live under the surface of the water…they are in another league.

A zoomed in picture shows the poor Leopard Tortoise in the clutches of the scary reptile

Most of what these reptiles get up to goes unseen. However, in the last few days, I have seen two remarkable crocodile moments. The first was the outrageous scene of a croc killing a wildebeest, a scene so horrific and unexpected that it tore at my very heart-strings. The second, although not as extreme, is still pretty unusual.

We were driving past a small watering hole when we noticed the creepy head of a crocodile rise to the surface. Like a torpedo he was off. His design was perfect, his execution magnificent. In no time he was at the bank and his mouth was open. BANG! He reared his head back and clenched his jaws. The shattering sound was eerie.

If you look closely in the crocodiles mouth you will see the shell of a Leopard Tortoise

The crocodile opens up his menacing jaws

I was stunned. In his jaws was a medium sized Leopard Tortoise! As the guests enquired what was happening, I had to turn to them, with a broad grin on my face, and tell them that I had never even heard of this before, let alone seen a crocodile eating a tortoise. He cleverly swiveled the tortoise in his mouth, finishing it off in five big bites. In no time it was over…

2012 certainly has been a year of surprises for me!

A zoomed in picture shows the poor Leopard Tortoise in the clutches of the scary reptile

The birds just just watched on as he shattered the tortoise's tough shell

The birds just just watched on as he shattered the tortoise’s tough shell

Written and photographed by Adam Bannister

Rich Laburn
Rich Laburn is filmmaker, photographer and writer who is based at Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. Spending his time capturing scenes of the wild and communicating the beauty of the African bushveld, he runs the Londolozi Blog as a way to entertain and engage people wishing to visit these wild lands.
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