The jaws of death: Terrifying final moments of zebra snatched from its herd by crocodiles as it crosses Kenyan river
These incredible photos truly capture nature at its rawest – as an unfortunate zebra battles in vain to avoid becoming a hungry crocodile’s lunch.
The series of images, taken in Kenya during the annual zebra migration, show the food chain in action as one beast is plucked from the herd and destined for dinner.
And despite fighting for its life, and almost managing to escape the clutches of the predator’s jaws, it is eventually overpowered by the hungry congregation of crocs.
Doomed: The zebra tries in vain to escape from the crocodile’s jaw
Award winning wildlife photographer Gabriela Staebler captured the moment while photographing the zebra migration across the Mara river.
German-born Gabriela said: ‘A herd of a few hundred zebras arrived at the Mara River.
‘This was the beginning of the annual migration of wildebeest and zebras in the Masai Mar. They came from the Serengeti, following the rainfall, as they do every year.
‘There are always lots of huge crocodiles in the Mara River, and I could see they were hungry, waiting for the zebras to cross the river.
Deadly calm: The zebras remain in the water, even though several crocodiles can be seen moving towards them
Too close for comfort: The crocodile swims right up to the zebras, who stand their ground, despite their nervousness
Dinner is served: The zebra stands no chance once the crocodile begins its attack
‘As the zebras went into the river, they swam closer. The zebras watched them with distrust, but went on crossing the river, which was not very deep.
‘Several times a smaller crocodile attacked one of the many zebras, without success, but then another huge croc surfaced from the deep, gripping an adult zebra on its muzzle with incredible force, breaking its jaw.
‘I was watching, amazed, when suddenly the wounded zebra won free.
‘I thought it was going to manage to get away, but then three other big crocodiles arrived.
‘They worked together, biting the zebra’s legs and one grabbing its muzzle.They pulled their prey under water, drowning it and tearing it.
‘After a few minutes a dozen crocodiles were feeding on the carcass. They must have been very hungry. Within half an hour only the skin of the zebra was left.’
Fight for survival: The zebra frantically tries to escape, but it has no hope of getting away
Dragged to its doom: The crocodiles swarm around the zebra, forcing it under the water to drown