May 8, 2017
Life on the River
- as seen by -Tim Lewthwaite
We had stopped along the banks of the Mara River in southern Kenya.
Looking down a steep drop, I could see a large Nile crocodile basking in the sun, eyes closed and mouth agape. Suddenly — a loud splash. Hidden by the steep bank, we couldn’t see the cause.
Now awake, the crocodile was swimming—and he wasn’t alone. Moments later, the silt-filled water churned white. One of the larger crocodiles was engaged in a death roll. Smaller animals rose out of the water, noses pointed skywards, swallowing pieces of an unidentified animal.
The feeding frenzy waned as quickly as it had begun. A massive crocodile appeared close to shore and raised its head upwards. The hind end of a wildebeest was clasped firmly in its jaws. A smaller crocodile tried to grab a leg, but failed. Again, the giant raised its head and gulped, trying to swallow. Two lifeless legs flailed in the air—the meal was too large.
The crocodile moved down river, vanishing out of site, still with its prize. The smaller crocodile followed.
In the few minutes that had passed, we had witnessed the dramatic nature of life on the river.