Dead elephant found lying on top of dead crocodile

The elephant and crocodile.
The elephant and crocodile. Photo credit: South Luangwa National Park

Park rangers in Zambia have come across a dead elephant lying on top of an equally dead crocodile.

The macabre and bizarre scene was discovered in South Luangwa National Park, in the landlocked African nation's northeast.

"Our guide Andrew and his guests found a dead elephant, and when looking closer, found a dead crocodile underneath it," the park said on its Facebook page.

Andrew Mwanza found the ill-fated pair on the banks of the Luangwa River on October 8, the park said.  They appear to both be relatively young.

Park authorities suspect there wasn't a battle between them.

"They suspect the elephant was injured and the croc was following it, when the elephant collapsed while trying to climb the bank of the river, squashing the croc," the park said. "Very strange. The park authorities didn't find any trace of human foul play in regards to the elephant's death."

This view was backed up by Crocodile Research Coalition co-founder Marisa Tellez, who told LiveScience it's unlikely a crocodile would try to take on an elephant.

"That seems like a lot of work for a smaller predator, and not in its favour. Of course, you will always have more bold individuals that will take more than they bargained for."

There was one big winner in the tragedy, however.

"All this made for a huge and happy meal for dozens of vultures," the park said.



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