Croc’s Life, Not Easy
One would be forgiven for believing that a four-metre Crocodile would have few cares in the world, but a Croc’s life is not easy.
With a very low metabolic rate and therefore low energy requirements, a single meal will sustain a Crocodile for many months.
They tear throat-sized chunks off their prey and swallow this whole. Passing through a muscular gizzard, these pieces are quickly broken down before they reach the acid stomach. A further reduction takes place here, before these smaller chunks pass into an elongated intestine, where slow digestion takes place. In addition to this, Crocodiles are endothermic, meaning that they do not use food to produce the energy needed to regulate their body’s temperature. They do this externally, by lazing on sandbanks soaking up the Sun or drifting in the water cooling down.
But there is a downside to this indolence: Crocodiles do not have vast energy stores and exhaust themselves fairly quickly.
So when this Crocodile managed to snatch a bite to eat from the heaving, co-operative mass tearing a Puku apart, it chose a sandbank away from the madding crowd, opposite Shenton Safaris’ Hippo Hide. Earlier in the year we showed just how frenzied it can become around a carcass, in Luangwa River’s Sanitation Department and this is why this fellow chose a seemingly quiet spot.
Unfortunately for the Crocodile, Hippos are innately curious about the goings on in their river.
And being gregarious, they like to share the objects of their curiosity with their fellows; or is it merely a case of safety in numbers?
Feeling crowded for space, the Crocodile edged away from the intruding Hippos,
but the Hippos were not allowing it any space.
And so it reacted with speed, dodging between the three, it dived into the water and solitude . . .
or so it thought at the time.