Two saltwater crocodiles have been snapped in a vicious duel to the death in Australia, with rangers warning of the threat the giant reptiles pose.
Sandra Bell was at Lakefield National Park on the Cape York Peninsula in the country’s tropical north when she captured the moment a smaller crocodile was eaten by a much bigger one.
The larger beast grabbed the smaller one in its jaws before shaking it in the air and swallowing it whole on October 26.
“This is nature at its toothiest and clawiest!,” tweeted Queensland National Parks, adding that the attack took place at a popular waterhole close to a sign on a nearby riverbank warning of crocodiles.
“So it’s a good reminder to remember to be croc wise in croc country,” it added.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to seven metres (23 feet) long and weigh more than a tonne, have become increasingly common in Australia’s north since they were declared a protected species in 1971.
They kill an average of two people each year in Australia.
The Northern Territory News said the waterhole area was popular with locals and crocodiles were regularly spotted basking on the riverbank.
Peter Hannah, head of Lakefield-based Pandanus Park, a camping area, said he had witnessed several clashes between the reptiles this year.
“This year they have been very aggressive, because there was no flood rain season as such,’’ he told the newspaper.
“So that meant there was bugger all barramundi (fish) and all that, so they were turning on each other.”