By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans

A HERD of gazelles brave the perilous Mara river - only to get snapped up by six foot long crocodiles

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Videographer / director: safariLIVE
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas

The 40 strong herd of thomson gazelle prepare to cross the crocodile infested Mara river

Between June and December every year about three million wildebeest, eland, zebra and thomson gazelle migrate across the Serengeti.

A young fawn looks shell-shocked after successfully crossing the Mara river

Upon arriving at the Mara triangle in Kenya, they must make a treacherous trip across the crocodile-infested Mara river.

Two fawns race neck and neck to cross the river before a hungry crocodile snatches them

On September 23, safari guide James Hendry spotted a herd of 40 gazelle contemplating the tricky crossing - including a young fawn.

A gazelle cries out as a crocodile latches onto its hindquarters and drags it beneath the water

James said: “The little tommy is going to have to cross with his parents, and cousins and sisters and aunts, if they decide that is what they are going to do.”

Even though the group spotted a crocodile sizing them up in the water, one brave gazelle dove into the water and made it across safely.

A gazelle struggles in the crocodile's jaws as its companions swim frantically around the scene

James said: “One jumped in and swam across unscathed and then the rest followed.

“Almost as soon as the rest of the herd jumped into the water a great flurry of reptilian activity took place.”

In a hurry to avoid the sneaky crocodiles, a group of thomson gazelle hurry to cross the Mara river

The second gazelle to try his luck in the hazardous waters was not so lucky - as a 6ft crocodile sped straight toward it and dragged it to the depths of the river.

Crocodiles can stay underwater for up to two hours at a time so the clever creature was barely visible to the herd of gazelles until he selected his prey.

A second gazelle dashes into the water after the first courageous gazelle to attempt the crossing

James added: “Those crocodiles sped into the water like little speed boats, as the crocs caught up with them they posed out of the water and whap, they slammed their jaws down on them and dragged them underwater.”

The reptiles usually kill their prey by drowning, dragging them underwater and violently shaking them as they crush the animal between their jaws.

The second gazelle to attempt the crossing is snatched up in a crocodile's mighty jaw

Following the victory of a larger crocodile, another croc dragged his own gazelle dinner under the murky waters.

Luckily, most of the nervous gazelle found their way to the other side sadly, including the young fawn James spotted at the shore earlier.

A gazelle follows his companion into the treacherous Mara river

Soaked and shaken, the gazelle appeared disoriented before scrambling up the bank to find the herd and its parents - if they survived the crossing.

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