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Great Britain

Heartstopping moment fearless leopard snatches prey from inside ‘sleeping’ crocodile’s JAWS

THIS is the moment greedy leopard used up one if its nine lives attempting to swipe chunks of antelope meat from a "sleeping crocodile's jaws.

But the scaly beast is awake the whole time, snapping his eyes open as the big cat lunges in for a second helping, sending the greedy leopard scampering off with just one withering glare.

Incredible footage captured by 29-year-old wildlife photographer Nicole Dangoor shows the leopard, tail curled sheepishly, stalking up to the seemingly sleeping croc who is prostrate on the grass.

He shoots his paws into the beast's mouth a few times trying to prize out some of the meat, stuffed between the crocs jaws and spilling out onto the floor.

Failing to grip a morsel, the cat bares his teeth in frustration as the tension mounts.

Crickets can be heard chirruping in suspense in the background.

But incredibly the leopard goes for a second shot, sticking his entire snout between the croc's front teeth, grabbing a hunk of antelope and gobbling it down.

And not satisfied with just the one bite, the big cat heads back for more.

He yanks an entire LEG from the crocodile's mouth, snapping the beast's head back with the movement and seemingly waking him from his slumber.

The croc slides one menacing green eye open, looking furious.

The leopard dives, grabs his stolen antelope leg back and scarpers.

Wildlife filmmaker Nicole, from East Finchley, London, said: "I was a bit scared for the leopard, but that's nature - they know what they're doing.

"The leopard is really getting inside the crocodile's mouth but he's very careful.

"The croc is actually awake and he slyly opens his eyes.

"It shows how brutal nature is and how they can all fend for themselves. In the end, the leopard managed to grab a leg and runs off.

"It was an amazing experience to see how nature works and how they fight with each other."

The clip was shot by a river near Mfuwe Lodge, owned by the Bushcamp Company, while Nicole sat for hours watching the crocodiles, leopard and other animals all fight for the meat.

Though she feared the leopard could attack the 'snoozing' reptile, she soon learnt the crocodile was far more vicious and capable of fighting.

Nicole said: "We were driving back to the lodge and we saw a leopard near one of the smaller rivers, where the crocs rest.

"We saw the end of the tail, then all of a sudden two crocs came and stole the meat off the leopard, then the leopard was following the croc trying to grab its meat.

"Crocodiles keep the meat in their mouth because the leopard is more scared of the crocodile - it takes the risk to eat".

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