Live from the Masai Mara - Zebra Crossing

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Saying that this time of the year is not high season and no Great Migration is going on, doesn’t mean that one cannot see a crossing. And a crossing is what we saw today.

Several hundreds of zebra were gathering at the Mara River when we approached. They seemed to be determined to cross the Mara River to enter the Great Plains of the Serengeti for better food. Some of them were already on the other side of the river and such a situation usually causes them stress. The families want to stay together and they keep calling each other to encourage the rest of the family to cross.

But that was not an easy task. Plenty of hippos were lying in the river and crocodiles couldn’t be far away. The zebras made a couple of attempts and stopped them when they saw the hippos. After approximately two hours of trying they gathered all their courage and moved into the water, first to drink and then they moved on to the other side of the Mara River. But now the crocodiles were gathering as well and suddenly there were about eight of them heading for the crossing zebras. They were ready to attack. One crocodile was holding a zebra on its back leg, another crocodile came to bite into the other back leg and another crocodile took the zebra by its neck. They pulled the zebra into deeper water and started rolling with it and pulling it under water. It was over for the zebra. Now eight crocodiles were pulling it apart and swallowed whatever piece they got hold of.

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This one zebra saved all the others. It kept the crocodiles busy and happy and that meant no other casualties for the herd. It was an exciting and moving sighting and an amazing photographic adventure.

… more to come.

Ute Sonnenberg for