A large crocodile in Queensland has been caught on film cannibalising a member of its own kind.
Passengers on a Solar Whisper wildlife cruise on the Daintree River earlier this month first spotted the two-metre saltie, known as "Eric", fishing for food along the river bank.
But when it reappeared later in the cruise, the seven-year-old croc had a smaller crocodile hanging from its jaws.
Solar Whisper Wildlife Cruise owner David White said "Eric" appeared to be struggling with his oversized meal.
"He was having a lot of trouble getting it down and eventually he swam off with it in his mouth," he said.
Mr White said crocodiles were known to eat other crocodiles but it was rare to witness such behaviour.
"In 15 years’ experience, I’ve only seen this kind of thing three times," he said.
Mr White said passengers aboard the boat had found the scene "pretty horrible", but the cruise operator told them they were lucky to catch a glimpse of such a rare event.
He said the crocodile would have eaten the juvenile simply because “he was hungry” and not for any territorial reason.
Since Eric's hefty meal, Mr White said the reptile been showing off an enlarged belly and spending more time in the sun to aid its digestion.
Source: David White
Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Fiona Willan