Crocodile Death Roll

Crocodile Death Roll

By Joy Bassetti Kruger

Crocodile Death Roll

By Joy Bassetti Kruger

Copyright © 2016 by Joy Bassetti Kruger


Shakespir Edition


This story is part of a series of animal encounter stories

that will eventually make up a book.

In the meanwhile please enjoy this freebie.

Crocodile Death Roll

By Joy Bassetti Kruger


One morning while we were out on a game drive we stopped off at a dam to see what was going on. From the distance we had seen some activity, so we naturally felt curious.

As we approached the dam through the tall thatch grass, the first thing we heard was the sound of something heavy thrashing about in the water. Then as we drew nearer and parked on top of the dam wall, we could see that large crocodiles were splashing around in the water and also tossing a relatively large buck around as if it were a toy.

To our surprise, no less than three huge crocodiles were rolling over and over in the water and displaying their white bellies in what is known as a death roll. We watched this display in awe as we had never seen anything quite like it previously.

The crocs made a grunting sound as they rolled around, but it was the display of them showing us their white bellies, that really made us sit up and take note.

Then suddenly, one of the crocs lifted a huge Eland effortlessly out of the water and tossed it around like a limp rag. Another croc then grabbed the buck and he too tossed it around for a while.

As Elands are enormous, heavy buck, it must have taken a lot of strength for the crocodiles to do this. Also, the energy they put into each toss was quite astonishing, as there was a huge displacement of water in the dam on each occasion.

The thrashing in the water continued for some time, while the poor Eland was rolled over and over and over again. The buck was not moving at all, so we were pretty certain it was already dead. The crocs meanwhile continued to do their impressive belly rolls while playing with the buck and passing it around from one croc to the next in an awful, sadistic, game of tag. Amazingly, they did all this tossing and grabbing without showing any signs of aggression towards each other.

Then all of a sudden the commotion in the water stopped and one of the crocs crawled out of the dam and went off to lie in the sun on the far bank. He then lay with his mouth hanging agape in an awful grin. The second croc then swam away and lay half submerged in the water some distance away, with only the top of his head and his eyes showing above the waterline. The third croc remained in the water near to the place where they had finally tossed the now discarded Eland. He too seemed to have lost interest in the prey.

We did not catch sight of the Eland again, but maybe the crocs were saving the food for later, or perhaps just waiting until it was ripe and ready and stinky enough to eat, which is the way they appear to enjoy their meat.

Then again, who knows what goes on in the head of a crocodile, which possibly has a lot of violent thoughts circulating in his head, that we are better off not knowing anything about.

Also, the crocs might not have been hungry at the time since they had perhaps already torn chunks of flesh from the animal and were saving the rest for the following day.

After viewing this display, we excitedly we made our way to the main lodge, where we told the Rangers about what we had just seen. They said they felt envious because this was something seldom seen, and usually something that was only read about in books or seen in a video. They admitted that in all their years of driving around and taking visitors on game drives, they had never seen a crocodile actually doing a death roll with its prey.

They also said that visitors to parks and game reserves often saw more than they did and that they wished more people would make videos of what they had seen on their cell phones or cameras. We’d had a camera with us at the time, but quite frankly we were so entranced by what was going on, that neither of us had the presence of mind to take any photos.

At the time we owned a house in a Game Reserve, so we were permitted to drive our own vehicle around. This meant we could go where ever we pleased at any time of day or night. So we could also just drive to a waterhole and wait for some action. We often took a picnic lunch with us and then patiently sat and waited for the animals to come down to the waters edge to drink.

I guess this is why we often saw something amazing and unusual happening in the bush, or in and around the various dams we visited. Obviously all it took was patience and plenty of time to just sit out there and wait and continue to wait some more, until an animal encounter happened to take place directly in front of our eyes.



If you would like to read more of these animal encounter stories, they will appear as freebies on Shakespir, so watch out for them.

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Crocodile Death Roll

When a crocodile attacks an animal he usually drags his prey into the water to drown it. He does this by holding on to it and rolling over and over in the water until all movement ceases. This is known as a death roll. Sounds brutal, but this is how crocs catch their food. This story is about how we chanced upon such a scene while on a game drive.

  • ISBN: 9781311204431
  • Author: Joy Bassetti-Kruger
  • Published: 2016-04-23 13:20:07
  • Words: 992
Crocodile Death Roll Crocodile Death Roll