Crocodiles are remarkably resilient creatures, but even these hardy reptiles must sometimes fend off the attacks of opportunistic predators. On a recent safari in South Africa's Entabeni Game Reserve, Connor Dawes and his family witnessed a pride of lions launch a collective strike on a crocodile that was no doubt wishing it hadn't left the relative safety of the water.

The attack was instigated by a male lion who happened upon a crocodile sunning itself beside a dam. "I was shocked that a lion would even think of taking on a crocodile," Dawes told Latest Sightings who shared the footage on their Facebook page. "I wasn’t really worried for the crocodile – that was until the lion grabbed its back leg and pulled it away from the water. The rest of the pride joined in and continued provoking and attacking the crocodile."

The lions were careful to avoid the sharp end of the croc as they repeatedly attacked it from behind, much to the audible displeasure of the reptile. Eventually, the crocodile was able to slip into the water and swim away from danger. Crocs are thick-skinned animals capable of enduring some abuse so it's likely that this reptile will survive the ordeal. Sightings of the crocodile post-attack confirm that it seems to be doing just fine.

As hatchlings, Nile crocodiles face a number of threats especially from predatory birds like herons. But as they grow in size and strength the list of prospective predators thins out. They are, however, still vulnerable to attacks from big cats. A pride of lions in Zimbabwe developed a reputation back in 2016 for their croc-hunting tendencies, while leopards have also been recorded taking on these hefty reptiles. In other cat-vs-croc battles outside of Africa, jaguars are expert caiman catchers.

Top header image: Erlend Aasland, Flickr