One minute you're looking at a few crocodiles amicably sunning themselves on the edge of the water, and the next, you're witnessing a violent croc-on-croc attack. 

That's what happened to Sandra Bell on a recent visit to the Rinyirru National Park in Queensland, Australia. After stopping her car to take a few snapshots of the lounging reptiles (from a safe distance), she saw one of the larger animals move in on a smaller neighbour on the edge of the bank.

"Suddenly, the bigger one grabbed the smaller one and flung it up into the air. It starting flinging the smaller one around, splashing it into the water. Then it started eating the tail, and then the legs. Just ... chomp chomp chomp," she told BBC News. 

The attack, Bells says, went on for a good few minutes before the large croc, which Bell says looked about five metres long, abandoned the remains of its victim and slipped back into the water. 

Wanting to share her incredible sighting with others, Bell sent her snapshots to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, who posted the images on their Facebook page.

The attacker, says the parks agency, was definitely a saltwater crocodile, and while the images don't show the other croc very clearly, it was most likely a smaller saltie. Its bloated and pale appearance, the team adds, suggests it may already have been dead when it was flung through the air, possibly killed earlier by the larger croc.

Croc-on-croc attacks are not uncommon in the area at this time of the year, as males are more likely to defend their territories aggressively during mating season. 

The agency also added a note of warning. "[This] happened just a couple of hundred metres from [a crocodile] warning sign, so it's a good reminder to remember to be croc wise in croc country."


Top header image: Parks Australia, Flickr