The mind-boggling moment a stork reached deep into a crocodile’s jaws was captured on camera and promptly went viral.
The bird had been fishing in crocodile-infested shallow waters in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania when it saw the head of a tiger fish floating about.
However, as the stork picked the snack up, a 13-foot crocodile suddenly showed up in the shallows.
1. This is the one-of-a-kind moment a stork appeared to get its head stuck in the jaws of a crocodile while fishing in a lake in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.
For a brief moment it seemed like the bird had been caught up in the action, with its head perilously close to the apex predator’s jaws.
Fortunately, however, the reptile somehow managed not to chop the stork’s head off, leaving it instead to carry on with its fishing.
The one-of-a-kind scene was captured on camera by Mark Sheridan Johnson, 35, who works as a safari guide.
2. The yellow-billed bird was fishing in the shallows of the lake in the African reserve.
3. The stork managed to pluck out the head of a tiger fish, which was floating just underneath the surface of the water.
I noticed the stork was playing with something in the water, it turned out to be the head of a tiger fish.
While playing with the fish head, the stork attracted the attention of a young crocodile, who came swimming in at speed to steal the bird’s dinner.
Once the croc had the fish, the stork realised the battle was lost, so decided to carry on fishing near the crocodile.
Storks feed primarily on small fish, which they swallow whole.
4. But within seconds a hungry 13-foot crocodile appears from nowhere and snatches the fish.
5. The reptile uses its strong jaws to eat the morsel, which it amazingly stole without harming the stork.
6. Storks and crocodiles often fish together and have a fairly harmonious relationship, photographer Mark Sheridan Johnson said.
The lucky photographer added that it was not unusual for storks to be fishing near crocodiles. He explained:
They know that as the croc moves along the shoreline of the lake, it will scare fish away from it, which the stork will catch.
Similarly you’ll find different species of birds such as the yellow billed stork and the spoonbill hunting side-by-side. This is called a “twin hunting strategy”.
7. A crocodile and lions clash over a buffalo carcass (related).
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