Some people enjoy feeding time at the zoo, planning their visits so they can see what the animals are having for lunch. Imagine their surprise when this happened: when a zookeeper tossed a fish into a crocodile enclosure. Three crocodiles jerk their heads towards the food, but one croc decided he didn’t want to have a fish for lunch. It seems he wanted a taste of his own kind instead.
He then took a massive bite out of another crocodile’s leg, ripped it off by quickly rolling in the dirt, then ate the leg whole. You can hear the shocked visitors screaming in the background. This video may have been shot in Australia, and similar incidents have been reported there with some frequency.
Apparently, it’s pretty common for crocs to be cannibals. Since the larger ones are more likely to attack smaller ones, many zoos group similar-sized ones together to avoid a spectacle like this. But in the real world, it’s a pretty normal thing, horrifying as it is to watch.
Although crocodile mothers will protect their young for several weeks after hatching, other adult crocodiles will eat them as readily as any other prey. This cannibalism serves as a sort of population control mechanism, keeping the population of crocs down so there will be enough food sources for the survivors.
This is just another example of nature at work. Some things are harsh or scary, but it all part of the circle of life.
This post was originally published on May 1, 2016.