South Africa's Lake St Lucia turned into Lake Placid for a swimming waterbuck recently when the large antelope found itself in the crosshairs of a crocodile with just one thing on its mind: dinner.

The intense chase was caught on camera by local guide Deiric Walsh, who's been taking tourists out on the lake for the past 18 years. The large body of water, Africa’s largest estuarine system, is over 20 kilometres at its widest point – and that's plenty of space for the lake's 1,200 or so crocodiles to enjoy.

While crocs generally adopt a sit-and-wait approach to food, they're capable of swimming speeds that approach 35 km/h (22 mph), so this waterbuck really was racing for its life.

"It was amazing ... When the waterbuck escaped, the tourists were hugging each other, laughing and talking about the experience and totally exhilarated," says Walsh.

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Top header image: Federico Moroni, Flickr