WATCH | Hippos steal crocodiles’ lunch – then fish eagles join the action
- Footage has emerged of hippos stealing a kill from crocodiles.
- The video was released by Latest Sightings, which shares wildlife video captured by visitors to the Kruger Park.
- The footage also captures fish eagles joining the fray, to pick up some scraps.
- For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa.
Video of hippos stealing prey from crocodiles has been released by popular wildlife website Latest sightings. African Fish Eagles are later seen joining the fray, hunting jumping fish eating at the scraps.
The footage was captured at Crook’s Corner by Lean van Biljon, who was on a day trip to the Kruger Park with some colleagues. Crook’s Corner, where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet, got its name from the outlaws who lived there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in a bid to evade the law.
“We went for a day trip to Kruger National park, visiting Shingwedzi and later Crooks Corner. On arrival, we noticed a herd of cattle walking on the sandbank towards a waterhole right in front of the picnic area. Some of the cattle had bells around their necks. The crocodiles reacted immediately to the sound of the bells of the cattle and started swimming towards the first herd,” says Van Biljon.
“A second herd approached the waterhole, more to the left. As there were a lot of crocodiles showing interest in the cattle, we just knew that something was about to happen! Some of the cattle from the second herd were not comfortable with “something” in the water and opened up some space between them. A late arrival entered the space and within seconds after she started drinking water, a crocodile caught the cow!”
He adds that several crocodiles joined in to secure the kill and drown it. And then hippos entered the frenzy.
“Multiple hippos then decided to join in. We did not know what their real interest was in the cow, but they tried to take it away from the crocodiles. In some instances, we thought they were just moving the cow away from the crocodiles. In the process, it looked like they were biting it! We couldn’t say if they were trying to eat the cow or trying to “save” it.”
Van Biljon and his colleagues also noticed fish jumping out of the water – probably to eat some scraps – and they were in turn soon noticed by some fish eagles. “A couple of African Fish Eagles then joined the party and made a few practice dives at the fish. We witnessed at least three fish that were caught by the eagles, and we managed to have two on film. This was true Fish Eagle hunting action,” he adds.
“In Afrikaans, they say: ‘Die een se dood, is die ander se brood’, in nature, for one to live, another has to die. To see each of these interactions on their own would have been rare, but to see all at once within 30 minutes, was once in a lifetime!”
Watch the video here:
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