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Impala leaps clear of snapping crocodile as it suddenly pounces out of watering hole 

This is the incredible moment an impala showed off its ninja reflexes to narrowly escape the jaws of a huge crocodile who leapt out of a watering hole.

Footage shows the dainty female impala having a drink at what appears to be a safe and serene watering hole.

But seemingly out of nowhere, a 700-pound Nile crocodile springs from beneath the murky surface and lunges towards his prey.

The terrified animal notices the threat just in time, and is able to leap backwards and turn 180 degrees to scarper before it could be clamped within the reptile's deadly jaws.

Incredible footage shows the moment an impala showed off its ninja reflexes to narrowly escape the jaws of a huge crocodile who leapt out of a watering hole in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

The crocodile then slowly retreats back into the water, ready to spring his trap once again when the opportunity comes.

The remarkable display of athleticism was captured by photographic guide Peter Geraerdts, 51, from South Luangwa, Zambia, whilst he was spending time in South Luangwa National Park in the east of the country.

He captured the amazing footage from just 100 feet away from the action.

'The crocodile launched itself from the water when the female impala was drinking and in a flash the impala reacted and jumped backwards, just out of reach from the crocodile's jaws,' Peter said.

Footage shows the dainty female impala having a drink at what appears to be a safe and serene watering hole

A 700-pound Nile crocodile springs from beneath the murky surface and lunges towards his prey. The terrified animal notices the threat just in time, and is able to leap backwards and turn 180 degrees to scarper off

'We were watching for any activity at the waterhole and we saw the crocodile digging itself into the mud at a spot where animals go down to drink.

'Crocodiles are smart reptiles and very patient hunters.

'They just dig themselves into the mud at the waterwhole and they can feel the vibrations of approaching wildlife with their supersensitive receptors in their jaw and mouth.

'Impalas were coming and going with some drinking whilst others were hesitant for fear of predators.

The crocodile then slowly retreats back into the water, ready to spring his trap once again when the opportunity comes

'But eventually animals need to take the risk.

'Unfortunately for the crocodile, his patience was not rewarded, but for us photographers it was spectacular to see the power and speed of the crocodile in action and at the same time the "happy ending" for the impala.'

Impalas are amongst the fastest animals in the world, running at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. Their supreme agility helps them avoid predators and they can leap over distances of up to 30 feet.

Impalas will avoid coming into contact with lions at the watering hole by visiting during the heat of the day when the big cats are sleeping - but there is little they can do to avoid the scaly predators that roam beneath the water's surface.

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