The Crocodile, the eagle and the catfish

We so often focus on the exciting creatures rivers attract that we forget about the animals in and under the water. It was a lazy afternoon floating on the Chobe River with great herds of elephant and buffalo meandering down to the river to drink.


While photographing the elephants, a pair of eyes suddenly appeared beside the boat as the skipper declared he had caught a fish. It appears a crocodile had the same fish in mind. It all happened so quickly, the crocodile rose slightly out of the water and I could see a big catfish in his mouth. Then he disappeared for a moment of calm, that was beginning to feel like an anti-climax.

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Before coming up again with vengeance: jaws thrashing; head shaking, tsunami splashing and fish guts flying everywhere. Once again the crocodile sunk down into the depths of the Chobe with our fish or his fish – it wasn’t?a negotiation anymore. The boat just floated with a motionless crew. When the prehistoric predator rose for the final time behaving like a meat incinerator just to ensure the catfish was completely dead.

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The air was electric, I had never seen this before. In the process the head of the catfish came off and out of nowhere a fish eagle, a silent spectator, flew into the scene and retrieved?the fish head. It was so quick that I only managed to get the part where he flew away with the head in his claws. He flew up into a tree next to the river where he ate his dinner. The croc had swallowed his fishy snack and disappeared into the deceivingly calm waters of the Chobe River.

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Read this article on the Africa Geographic Blog >


Posted in Corlette's Blog.