By Rebecca Drew
THRILLING action-shots show the moment one unlucky wildebeest was ambushed by a hungry crocodile as it attempted to cross a river.
The series of spectacular photographs show the moment the stealthy 500-pound croc clocked eyes on the group of wildebeest and blissfully swam alongside them before picking one out for dinner and aggressively lifting it out of the water into the air.
Other images show the wildebeest make an unsuccessful bid for freedom before being dramatically dragged underwater by the reptile.
The stunning pictures were taken at Maasai Mara, Kenya by British risk management consultant and part time professional photographer, Adrian Burrows (50) who now lives in Durban, South Africa.
“As the huge herd gathered at the river’s edge, I could see the crocs already moving into position, but they held off just enough so that they couldn’t be seen,” said Adrian.
“The leaders of the herd went forward gingerly and scanned for threats and then once the first one had entered the water, a cascade of hooves and horns followed, signalling the crocs to move in.
“Several crocs moved in one after another, targeting different sections of the crossing, but this particular one chose a stealthy approach by sneaking into line behind a swimming wildebeest, then once it had reached its range, lunged forward and attacked from the side.
“As it went in for the kill, its first bite didn’t quite find a hold and slipped off the slippery wet hide. Not to be deterred, it immediately went back for a second attempt, locking onto the animal’s hind quarters in an attempt to pull it under water.
“The wildebeest tried to resist, but soon succumbed to the croc’s size weight and strength, as it was pulled back into deeper water and drowned. The croc didn’t stop to eat the kill, but dragged it off to its underwater cache, then promptly came back for another victim.”
Adrian managed to get within 350-feet of the action and used a Canon EOS camera to take the incredible shots.
“My message is that we live on an incredible planet, where we surrounded by the beauty of wildlife and nature. Particularly in Africa, where we have the last true great wildernesses, where animals live the way they should, we have decimated their existence through habitat loss through human encroachment and by hunting,” added Adrian.
“If we do not stop this onslaught now, within one generation there may not be any more of this majesty to be seen.
“I love African nature and wildlife and like nothing more than to immerse myself in the bush. The sights and sounds, light and concentration of wildlife encapsulate its raw beauty, danger and power.
“It lends a unique perspective and reminds me why we have a duty to preserve it.
“If I can contribute in some small way to create awareness about the beauty of our planet and the need to conserve our natural treasures, I will have achieved my aim.”