By Amy Walters
DISTURBING images have captured the moment a sixteen-foot crocodile swung a catfish through the air with such brute force that it was unrecognisable.
In one image, the Nile crocodile could be seen as it launched into the water beneath it and grabbed an innocent catfish who wriggled with fright.
Another image captured the disturbing moment where the 16-foot crocodile smashed the 26-pound catfish from side to side in a bid to tear apart its prey – and where its body was eventually scattered across the waterhole in pieces.
The upsetting images were taken by wildlife photographer Tim Driman from Ballito, South Africa, who captured the vicious kill in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, from 82-feet away. The crocodile devoured its tasty treat whole in less than a minute.
Tim captured the action using a Sony A9i camera and a Sony 400mm lens.
“I was on a trip to the Okavango Delta during a severe drought, where we came across a drying-out waterhole,” Tim said.
“As we edged closer, we spotted sixty-four Nile crocodiles of various sizes swimming around the edges and noticed that their movement pattern was in sync with some catfish.
“After seeing the abundance of crocodiles and catfish, I knew something intense was about to happen – so I got my camera ready.
“Within moments, one of the crocodiles dove underwater and I began tracking him using the bubbles which were rising to the surface of the water.
“Just seconds later, the crocodile emerged with a giant catfish hanging out of its mouth and it threw the fish about from side to side.
“The crocodile had its jaws clamped firmly into the catfish’s body and after the crocodile was done smashing his prey with such brutal force, the fish had been torn to pieces and most of its body was scattered across the watering hole.
“After a few seconds, the catfish’s head was separated from the body and the crocodile flipped its tasty treat sideways and swallowed it whole.
“Normally, crocodiles only congregate when there is an ample supply of food and water which is why this area intrigued us as there were so many crocodiles all in one place, but no resources due to the drought.
“I knew that if we were patient, we would get action that day and I was absolutely elated after seeing this event pan out – as it’s always nice to see my patience being rewarded.”
Nile crocodiles are native to Africa and mostly live in freshwater habitats. Due to their widespread occurrence, they are listed as one of the most stable populations throughout Africa and can reach up to 1,653-pounds at full adult size.
Catfish are native to tropical areas of South America, Asia and Africa and can reach up to five-foot at full adult size.