Video shows 2 crocodiles take on 3 cheetahs in a battle for dinner

  • A video shows three cheetahs killing and beginning to feast on a waterbuck in Kruger National Park.

  • Then a pair of crocodiles shimmy up to the cheetahs, who hiss and eventually back away.

  • The crocodiles, which are known to be scavengers, then begin to eat the waterbuck themselves.

A recent video taken in South Africa's Kruger National Park shows crocodiles and cheetahs fighting over who gets to enjoy a meaty meal.

The video starts with a trio of cheetahs chowing down on a waterbuck, a type of antelope.

But, just as the cheetahs begin to dig in, a pair of crocodiles saunter up. The cheetahs face off against the crocs as they drag their prey further away from the approaching crocodiles several times.

screenshot from video of crocodiles approaching cheetahs
The cheetahs hiss and attempt to guard their kill as the crocodile draws nearer.Latest Sightings/YouTube/Bob and Rosa Swart

Though cheetahs are much faster than crocodiles, the crocs' persistent intimidation eventually wins them the prey. As the bigger crocodile gets right up to the waterbuck carcass, the cheetahs back away and slowly retreat.

screenshot form video of cheetahs backing away
The cheetahs back away as the crocodile snatches the kill.Latest Sightings/YouTube/Bob and Rosa Swart

After the crocodiles successfully commandeer the prey, the video shows more crocodiles rolling up to the feast.

Watch the entire scene unfold in the video below, featured on Latest Sightings YouTube channel:

"A total of 12 crocodiles appeared and went for the waterbuck kill," the couple who took the video, Bob and Rosa Swart, said, according to Earth Touch News Network. "However, in the end, only the largest crocodile remained at the carcass, surrounded by vultures and other scavenging birds."

The crocs at Kruger National Park are Nile crocodiles, the second-largest crocodile species in the world. They can be scavengers who will feed on discarded carcasses alongside other carnivorous animals, which usually "seem to tolerate each others' presence," according to the park website.

This time, the feeding cheetahs didn't seem to be very tolerant.

It's not clear why the cheetahs gave up on dragging their kill away from the approaching reptiles, though weight could have something to do with it. The average adult cheetah weighs up to 125 pounds, while the average adult waterbuck can weigh anywhere from 350 to 660 pounds, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

The foundation also describes the cheetah as a "timid predator," since they often lose their kills to thieving lions, leopards, hyenas, vultures, and jackals.

Nile crocodiles have to feed on large carcasses in groups like this, so that they can all hold the dead animal with their jaws to anchor it down while they take turns twisting off large chunks, according to Kruger.

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