Chilling video shows the moment a cheetah makes the fatal error of drinking from a watering hole and is snatched by a crocodile lurking just beneath the surface.
The mammal was no match for the hulking reptile, and was clearly not wary enough as it approached the water to take a drink.
Suspense builds as the cub appears to notice the croc, growling and baring its teeth at the water as it tentatively approaches the water and dips down.
The cat’s mother and her other cub can be seen in the background at a more cautious distance from the shoreline, leaving it alone and more vulnerable to attack.
As the cheetah bravely inches closer to the water to get a much-needed drink, the crocodile expertly springs out and snaps its jaws around the cub’s neck, with the animal leaping into the air and clawing at the beast in vain as it tries to escape.
The cheetah had very little chance of survival as the killer croc rapidly drags it down deep into the water and drowns it. Tragically, the cheetah’s mother and sibling can be heard calling out in despair for the lost cub.
The incredible footage, shot from a game vehicle at the &Beyond Phinda nature reserve in South Africa, reveals the cheetah’s terrifying final moments…
Footage shot in South Africa shows a cheetah tentatively approaching the shore of a watering hole
The cub, keen for a drink of water, edges towards the lagoon apparently unaware of the danger it faces
The cub appears to notice something in the water and growls and bares its teeth as the suspense builds
The water shifts and the crocodile laying wait beneath breaks cover after stalking its prey
The killer croc grabs the big cat by its neck, with the cheetah recoiling in a desperate attempt to escape
The cheetah claws at the beast in vain as the crocodile emerges on to land and secures its prey
The mammalian predator clearly did not stand a chance as the crocodile drags it into the lagoon
The cheetah cub tries to resist the strength of the hulking croc but it is clear its final moments are upon it
The big cat disappears under the water as the crocodile successfully secures its next meal
Ripples on the water show where the crocodile descended, as cries from the cub’s mother can be heard in the background
The cheetah cub disappears into the deep. Wildlife experts say its carcass will likely be buried at the bottom of the lagoon before the crocodile feasts on its rotting remains