Rare moment in life: Jaguar hunts giant crocodile in battle for survival that ends after 20 terrifying minutes

Big cats are known to hunt the small to medium-sized crocodiles but rarely is such a battle photographed.

THESE astonishing images capture the dramatic moment a jaguar and a caiman fought to death in a Brazilian jungle.

The fearsome big cat wrestled with the reptile for around 20 minutes in a struggle witnessed by wildlife photographer Chris Brunskill.

The photographer rushed to the area after hearing a jaguar had been spotted – and was astonished by what happened nextCredit: Getty – Contributor

Wildlife photographer Chris Brunskill captured a brutal fight to the death involving a caiman and a jaguarCredit: Getty – Contributor

The big cat and reptile battled for 20 minutes in the Brazilian jungle in a rarely-captured sceneCredit: Getty – Contributor

This battle happened on Tuesday on the Three Brothers River in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Jaguars hunt the small to medium-sized crocodiles – but rarely is such a clash photographed.

Snapper Chris rushed to the area after he learned the majestic cat was spotted near Corixo de Camindo.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: “Over the next hour we followed the cat and watched at close range as she charged unsuccessfully on a small group of capybara.

“Moments later she was walking through an open stretch of water when she pounced on the biggest yacare caiman I have ever seen during all my time on the river in Pantanal.

“After a long struggle, she immobilised the giant reptile with the trademark jaguar bite to the back of the skull, and then dragged the huge carcass for over twenty minutes across an open beach into thick cover.

The reptiles can grow to lengths of up to 8ft – but they are no match for the jaguarCredit: Getty – Contributor

Afterwards the big cat was forced to drag the huge creature from the river to eat under coverCredit: Getty – Contributor

Stunning images show the power of the jaguar as it carries and drags the dead caiman awayCredit: Getty – Contributor

“During the struggle I shot an incredible variety of pictures, almost 50GB in total, of a predation (animal attack) sequence I have been obsessed with since I first visited this magical place over five years ago.”

In July last year a 220lb jaguar took down another caiman in the south american country.

Around 30 years ago, the caimans faced an even bigger threat due to a lucrative market for crocodile leather.

“Nobody can say for sure how many yacares were slaughtered, but it would have run well into the millions,” Cleber Alho, a Brazilian conservation biologist, told National Geographic.

Capturing such a wildlife death match between the two jungle beasts, was a real feat for the photographerCredit: Getty – Contributor

The caimans were nearly hunted to extinction due to the crocodile leather market until a worldwide ban on the tradeCredit: Getty – Contributor

After Brazil’s government cracked down on poaching and following a 1992 global ban on trading crocodile skins, the creatures flourished.

Now as many as 10 million live in the wetlands.

This month a huge crocodile measuring 17ft in length was shot dead in Queensland, Australia, while incredible images and video showed a daredevil dad and daughter swimming with a 200lb croc.

A wildlife centre in Australia also allows swimmers in a see-through cage to get up close to the deadly reptiles.

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