It’s the battle you never knew you needed: anaconda versus crocodile.
Kevin Dooley – a wildlife photographer from Albuquerque, New Mexico – was enjoying a spot of lunch in the tropical wetlands of Pantanal, Brazil.
The 58-year-old was immersed in the Amazon rainforest, on board a boat, when he turned to the right and witnessed an amazing site.
It was a massive 28ft anaconda and a caiman – one of the smallest crocodile species – embroiled in a tussle to the death.
I was sitting in a boat having our lunch when this happened. I couldn’t believe it all. I heard all of this splashing, and when I looked I could see the caiman was suffering.
Dooley was around 30ft from the beasts, and added that the anaconda strangled the caiman to the point it even broke all of its legs.
It all happened in around eight minutes. I think eventually the anaconda ran out of oxygen and had to let go of the caiman.
This was the croc’s time to strike. It launched its jaws into the anaconda – alas, it wasn’t enough to conquer the snake.
Dooley said: ‘But the snake managed to get away and slither out, I think eventually the caiman died.’
The ruthlessness, the ice-cold nerve of it: the anaconda just slithered away and left the croc to die, probably quite a horribly slow death.
It’s a rare moment of nature in its prime; two titanic forces of South American swamps, pitted against each other. Dooley said he thinks he’ll ‘be waiting a long time to see this happen again’.
I felt very blessed and very lucky and somewhat sad for the caiman. I never thought in my life I would witness something like this.
If you see a green anaconda in the wild, my best advice would be to run for your life: they’re the largest species of snake in the world, growing up to 30ft in length and weighing up to 250kg.
While they aren’t exact the hell-born enemies that Ice Cube and Jon Voight would have you believe, they are incredibly dangerous.
Anacondas kill by wrapping their bodies round their prey and constricting. As the prey exhales, the anaconda’s muscles tighten, slowly restricting the prey’s lungs until it asphyxiates.
The giant snakes can also unhinge their jaws, allowing them to swallow prey much larger than themselves: if you’ve seen Snakes On A Plane, you know what I’m talking about.
All the amazing photos are missing is David Attenborough’s commentary.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.