By Tui Benjamin
A dad has captured rare crocodile cannibalism on camera – after he witnessed a 16ft saltwater croc swallowing the tail of its 10ft freshwater rival whole.
Prison manager Bill Yan, 49, was fishing in the Daly River in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory when he witnessed the gargantuan reptile chomping down on a rival smaller croc it had just killed.
The dad-of-two, who was fishing with son Mitchell, 16, on Easter Sunday [April 1] when he filmed the footage, was shocked when he realised the larger beast dwarfed their 15ft7in boat.
Bill, who lives in Alice Springs but was visiting Darwin for the weekend to fish, said: “We were cruising up the river and saw a big white thing floating down the river with a load of birds around it.
“We thought it was a fish but as we got closer we realised it was a section of a crocodile.
“Then we saw some splashing up the bank and saw this big saltie eating what was left of another croc that was floating down the river.
“He had just killed the smaller crocodile before tearing its legs and tail off – it had all just happened.
“The smaller freshwater croc was probably about three metres [10ft] long and the bigger one was about five metres [16ft] in size.
“I have seen crocodiles catching fish and things like that, but I have never seen one crocodile eat another crocodile like that. I have heard stories about it though.
“My son and I were sat there for 10 to 12 minutes watching him try to get the tail lined up so he could swallow it.
“We could actually here the bones crunching as it went down.
“It was definitely not something you see every day. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Saltwater crocodiles are the world’s largest living reptiles and have been known to grow up 19ft long, while freshwater crocs can reach 13ft in length.
Bill added: “In that part of the river there are freshies and salties sharing the habitat together, so you do come across them.
“Friends who have seen the footage were really quite in awe – some were shocked, some scared to realise there are such big crocs there, and to think you are cruising in the water with them.
“You definitely wouldn’t want to be in the water. It’s a tidal part of the river, so there are bull sharks in there too.
“My boat is 4.8 metres [15ft 7in] so the crocodile was definitely bigger than it.”