WATCH: Hungry Crocodile Jumps From the Water to Snatch a Bat Out of the Air

by Courtney Blackann

Unlike alligators, crocodiles are known for their sneak attacks on prey. They can even jump out of the water straight into the air at a moment’s notice. They are quite fascinating – and deadly – creatures. Nothing exemplifies this better than a video capturing a crocodile leaping from the water to snatch a bat.

According to Newsweek, plenty of people got an eyeful when a mischievous crocodile in Queensland, Australia burst from the otherwise peaceful water. Solar Whisper Daintree River Crocodile and Wildlife Cruises owner David White shot the footage – and also recognized the croc as the reptile he nicknamed “Dusty.”

Dusty is a saltwater crocodile. They’re found in Australia – and in what I’d call my personal nightmare – sharks and crocodiles in the same body of water? No thanks. However, according to White, the crocodiles leave boats and other water objects alone. But definitely don’t swim with them. They reach lengths up to 20 feet and can even grow to be more than 2,200 pounds.

They prey on wild animals, usually looking for opportunities when the animals come down near the water to drink. Which is exactly what a giant red flying fox bat was doing when Dusty decided it was dinnertime.

Crocodile Surprise Attacks Bat

Red flying foxes are common in the region. They are actually fruit bats – and they tend to fly in large groups. However, this unlucky bat was only with a couple pals as he was making the descent towards the water. Dusty the crocodile saw his opportunity and took it. The poor bat probably didn’t even know what hit him.

“I’ve seen the crocs getting excited when the bats are drinking, but in 25 years I’ve never seen one jump up or catch one until now,” White told the news outlet. “When my partner and I saw this we could not believe it and were shocked and amazed at the timing, skill, speed and accuracy. [It] gives you an appreciation of their potential deadliness.”

In addition to dwelling in saltwater, some of these crocodiles travel inland as far as 120 miles into fresh streams. This is the stuff of nightmares. The Queensland government warns residents not to swim in areas where saltwater crocodiles can be found unless signs specifically say it’s safe. Further, since 1985 there have been 33 attacks on humans with 11 fatalities.

When asked about how dangerous the crocodiles are, White had this to say:

“How dangerous are they? Well, they are wild animals, predators, so [it] depends on your behavior. If you swim with them or make a poor choice, they are lethal—we are on the menu. However, if you don’t swim then they ignore the boats and it’s not dangerous at all,” White says.