July 13, 2014

There is a place in Africa where two ancient predators come face to face – the shark and the crocodile. Usually, worlds apart, the two are forced to share the waters of Kosi Bay, a beautiful estuarine system in the Northeastern country of South Africa to compete for the same prey.

They compete alongside predators of all sizes, who lurk throughout these varied habitats, where the fresh waters of Lake Malawi and of the flood plains of Botswana, crash over Victoria Falls before meeting the sea; an estuary teaming
with hippopotami (in fact, deadliest animal to the people of the African Continent), as
well as the Zambezi bull shark (the shark species, worldwide responsible for the majority of shark attacks against humans). Yet there are many human hunters, here, as well, who brave this rich hunting ground.

For many of the inhabitants, this is a dangerous land. For a young crocodile, life is particularly challenging. This is his story – a journey into Predator Bay

It is a crocodile heaven and a young male crocodile feasts on the local bounty. Greedy for the easy pickings he follows the shoals of fish into unfamiliar waters and unintentionally begins an extraordinary journey. Many dangers lie ahead. He ventures far from his birthplace and swims into a series of strange habitats, very different from where he was born. Extraordinary creatures inhabit the waterways. Predators prowl everywhere.

He follows the fish beyond the crocodile’s realm entering the domain of a dangerous rival, another ancient hunter, a super-predator – the shark. The young male crocodile only weighs 25 kilograms, and almost two meters long he’s still small and vulnerable. His future is uncertain; in fact he’s lucky to have made it that far.

His adventure began five years ago on the day of his birth. Right from the start this little crocodile stood out from the rest. He was the first of his klatch to hatch, after 90 days cooped up in the confines of his egg he broke free, leaving his 50 or so siblings behind.

By the time his 300 kilogram mother arrives he’s already cleared of the sandy nest. She immediately starts to gather her family in her massive jaws. Only a few minutes old the little crocodile is proving his independence. His mother gathers him up and for now his explorations are over, but his adventures are only beginning with a free ride to the water’s edge.

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Alexandra Bruce

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