In a riveting display of nature’s harsh realities, a doomed wildebeest faces an intense hour-long battle for survival against both a hippo and a crocodile

These are the amazing photographs of an unbelievable encounter in a South African safari park where a crocodile grabbed an unsuspecting wildebeest only for a hippopotamus to emerge from the river and attempt to steal its prize.

The female wildebeest was drinking at the edge of a river at Sabi Sands in South Africa.

The unfortunate wildebeest was drinking at the water’s edge with it’s calf looking on, left, when the hungry crocodile struck

The wildebeest tried desperately to evade the attentions of the crocodile who had the mammal firmly gripped between its powerful jaws

The wildebeest wants to remain on its hooves as the crocodile attempts to rotate it and drag the desperate animal into the water

Speaking about the unbelievable scenes, Goodes said: ‘You hoped the wildebeest would escape and when the hippo moved in you thought that might happen.

‘It was unsettling to watch this struggle unfold over the course of nearly an hour. Apart from the thrashing noise of the struggle it was very very quiet.

‘Sometimes on safari in the safety of your jeep you can forget how precarious life is in the bush; this was a reminder just how delicate is the balance between life and death.

‘On a lighter note at one stage during the struggle, I did try to lighten my thoughts by imagining which of my favourite politicians I would substitute for the poor wildebeest.’

The crocodile has a firm grip on the wildebeest’s neck as it drags it into the river and away from the shoreline

The wildebeest looks distressed as the crocodile wraps itself around the stricken animal’s body while trying to pull it under the water

Yet, as the crocodile thinks it has succeeded in securing its lunch, a hippopotamus arrives and bites the wildebeest’s rump

The wildebeest appears to be suffering as the two fearsome beasts battle over its corpse in the South African river

The hippo tries to break the crocodile’s grip by diving underneath the wildebeest’s neck and try lift it out of the water

At one stage, it seems the hippo, who appears to have forgotten it is a herbivore, has managed to scare off the crocodile

Sia

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