The gut-wrenching moment a crocodile burst from the sea to snatch a turtle by the head

This is the gut-wrenching moment a crocodile burst from the sea to snatch an unlucky turtle by the head as it ventured back into the water.

The huge reptile emerged from the waves to clamp its fearsome jaws around the slow-moving amphibian on the sand.

Photographer Alejandro Prieto captured the incredible scenes on the remote Osa Peninsula in south-western Costa Rica.

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The area forms part of Corcovado National Park, which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Dulce.

Mr Prieto, 37, from Guadalajara, Mexico, is trained as a vet but has been photographing wildlife for six years.

He said: ‘It was a very hot morning. I was walking through the beach hoping to see a bull shark, which is something common in this area.

‘They usually feed close to the river mouth, local people told me they had seen some the day before.

‘From nowhere I heard a loud sound coming from the sea, at the moment I did not know what was happening, but after a few minutes I saw a huge crocodile emerging from the sea.

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‘It was a bigger surprise when I saw it struggling with large green turtle.

‘I quickly hid myself in the jungle – around 15 metres from the scene – hoping not to interfere and watch them fight for a few minutes.

‘Luckily I managed a few photos before the crocodile went back to the ocean with the turtle inside its mouth.’

After half-an-hour, the crocodile swam along the surface where he was joined by a bull shark – thought to be attracted by the scent of the turtle’s blood. 

turtle-gator map

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