Crocodile Kills Female Bushbuck at Lake Panic Kruger National Park

Before heading north to Satara which was to be our base for the next 4 nights we decided to spend a couple of hours at the Lake Panic bird hide described previously.

White-crowned lapwing Kruger Park Lake Panic When we arrived about 08.30 there was only 2 cars there so the hide was quite empty. Over the next hour or so a number of people came and went after seeing close-up views of a wonderful variety of birds, hippos, in and out of the water crocodiles basking and a pair of Pied Kingfishers fishing. We got some superb photos of African Jacanas, males, females and juveniles and not such good photos of Black Crakes and Grey Herons in flight.
 A pair of African Fish-Eagles also posed nicely for the camera on the branch of a dead tree. Another unusual sighting was that of a White-crowned Lapwing and an African Rail on the far bank.
Green-backed Heron Lake Panic Kruger Park  Take a look at this wonderful shot Gareth, my son, got of this Green-backed Heron
Then there was a shout ... It was probably around 09.30 when somebody saw a crocodile pulling an animal down into the water on the southern bank. It was quite some distance away and extremely difficult to make out although my son got a view, through binoculars, of it just before the croc disappeared into the water.
View of Crocodile kill location Lake Panic He immediately recognized the animal in the mouth of the crocodile as a female Bushbuck. Instantly our thoughts went back to the previous late afternoon when we saw probably just that same animal browsing along the banks of the Mafunyane Creek.
Bushbuck in mouth of crocodile Kruger park It must have been about 30 minutes later when I saw a very large crocodile in the water lilies on the far bank with what appeared to be the tail of a large catfish sticking out of its mouth. On closer inspection what appeared to be a tail became an ear of a Bushbuck. Then the crocodile turned and the head of the Bushbuck with eyes glazed could be seen protruding from the mouth. Take a look at this aerial image ...
 The image below (click to enlarge) shows the relative positions of the crocodile and bird hide when I spotted it some time later after the initial short sighting. Although quite some distance away on the far bank-side I took a few shots and show them below.
Crocodile swimming with Bushbuck in mouth In this shot you can see the large size of the croc and you can also see the right ear and front of the Bushbuck. Just take a look at the size of the head of the crocodile and see its tail also protruding from the water on the left side of the image.
 The croc then started to swim slowly from left to right and you can see the ear protruding from the mouth until it reached the area where it had first been seen dragging the Bushbuck into the water. From the glazed look on the eyes it appeared that the kill had happened some hours earlier.
Crocodile with Bushbuck in mouth leaving water The next image shows the croc leaving the water with its prey while one of the Woolly-necked Storks looks on.
Bushbuck head sticking out of crocodile mouth Notice the well worn path down to the water's edge. This is probably where the Bushbuck came to take its last drink. The cover in this area was probably perfect for any lurking crocodile. On this last shot below you can plainly see the face of the Bushbuck.  Maybe this is the real reason the bird hide should be called Lake Panic. Imagine the fear and panic the Bushbuck experienced in the last few moments of its life at the edge of this beautiful wild African dam.
Then we left to drive to Satara and it was only an hour later before we encountered another piece of raw Africa ... a leopard kill.