This is the horrifying moment 40 crocodiles took a zebra's legs and head off as it made a daring river crossing in Kenya's Maasai Mara.

  • Forty Nile crocodiles descended on a helpless zebra as it tried to cross the river in a migration herd of 300
  • While many of the zebras were able to escape one was dragged down below the surface by the predators
  • Her head appeared above the surface bereft of its body but her eyes still seemed frozen in panic
  • One of the crocodiles devoured a whole leg of the little zebra in Kenya's Maasai Mara national park  

This is the horrifying moment more than 40 crocodiles ripped a zebra limb from limb in a river in Kenya's Maasai Mara national park.

The helpless animal was descended upon as it tried to cross the water during its migration as part of a heard of 300 across the plains.

As it stepped into the water a pack of powerful crocodiles rushed to the surface and dragged the animal down.

The Nile crocodiles - which are capable of delivering two-and-a-half tons of power through their jaws - devoured the zebra in seconds, with one of its legs and its head being torn clean off.

Her head appeared above the water ripped from her body, photographer Jean-Francois Raux said: 'There was no more body behind that head but she seemed alive, her eyes imploring'

One of the crocodiles managed to swallow a whole leg after it ripped it from the zebra in a 'death roll' while other crocodiles were not so fortunate

The beheaded neck of the zebra is held in the two-and-a-half ton grip of one of the Nile crocodiles as the others with bloody jaws can be seen polishing off the scraps.

French photographer Jean-Francois Raux, 70, who was visiting Kenya captured graphic images of the zebra's brief struggle with the reptiles.

He had witnessed the herd of zebras arriving at the river to cross a few days before they worked up their courage to take the daring plunge.

Mr Raux said: 'Everything happened very quickly. Perhaps three hundred zebras crossed the river in single file - crocodiles in groups of two or three attempted attacks avoided by the zebra jumping over them.'

The unlucky zebra was dragged down below with her head next appearing without its body above the surface.

'There was no more body behind that head but she seemed alive, her eyes imploring.' Mr Raux said.

'Everything was going very fast. More than forty crocodiles were fighting for their share of the zebra. It was real carnage.'

The crocodiles fought each other for a bite of food as they ripped the zebra to pieces in less than 15 minutes.

While most of the 300 zebra herd were able to get across the river the unfortunate zebra's life was taken and it was completely devoured in less than 15 minutes

Initially a few crocodiles took hold of the zebra and dragged it down to the bottom where they drown it before they were joined by other crocodiles in eating every piece of it.

Crocodiles are known for performing a vicious 'death roll' where they grip their prey in their jaws while spinning in the water which allows the leverage to pull off large chunks of meat.

Crocodiles have extremely slow metabolisms and can go days without food, however when they do eat they can eat up to half their colossal half-ton weight.

The ancient apex predators can make light work of a little zebra and are capable of taking down prey of more than a ton in weight.

Herds of migrating zebras must make the often fatal crossing through rivers in the Maasai Mara annually when they move across the plains to take up new pastures.


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