I’ll ea.t it roar: Lioness fea.sts on a crocodile after gri.pping its head between her powerful jaws
These hair-raising photos show the moment a fierce lioness kills and devours a crocodile by gripping its head in her jaws.
The big cat can be seen gripping onto its 5ft-long prey with its teeth before tucking into the reptile.
The photographer was able to document the ferocity of animals living in their natural habitat in the Sabi Game Reserve, west of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Mike Sutherland captured the shots when he was leading guests and spotted a set of lion tracks.
The 31-year-old said: ‘As is custom in South African private reserves, guides are able to go on foot to track animals down, before going off road with our vehicles.
‘We set out on foot, myself and my tracker to look for the lions. After about half an hour we heard what we thought may be a lion fight, in a small gully below a waterhole.’
Mr Sutherland said the group knew the lions were there and that they quickly ran back to the vehicle and drove towards the space where they believed them to be.
‘Once we found the lions, we could clearly see that they had just killed the crocodile, moments before we arrived, and the lioness had the crocodile by the throat trying to stop its breathing.
‘The rest of the pride was clawing at its hard scales, some biting on its tail and others walking around, almost confused with this strange animal they had now caught.’
Mike believed the crocodile was roughly 5 feet in length and might have weighed 220lbs [15st 7lbs] where as the lioness was an adult female, weighing around 330lbs [23st 5lbs].
He said: ‘The crocodiles head is much bigger than the lioness’s head, and it is difficult to see their full size comparison.
‘The lion was a part of a pride with four adult females with nine sub-adult cubs.
‘The lionesses, at the time of the photograph was around five years old and her cubs ranged between 10-18 months.’