Hippo is tossed around by crocodile after young animal is snatched while its mother had her back turned

Splashing around in the water with macabre glee, a crocodile flings a young hippo calf around in its jaws like a rag doll.

The giant predator reared out of the water to reveal the tiny carcass after apparently snatching its prey while its mother’s back was turned.

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Amateur photographer Roland Ross captured these incredible photographs near Lower Sabie in Kruger Park, South Africa.

Mr Ross was watching the huge crocodile swimming in a small dam when he was shocked by the brutal scene.

Mr Ross said: ‘I could see the croc had something in its mouth as it began to come our way.

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‘The crocodile then began to perform all sorts of antics with the 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 hippo.

‘It was throwing it in the air, spinning and jumping and splashing.’

Mr Ross, who was on holiday with his wife when the events unfolded, was stunned by the size of the animal as average crocodiles in the area grow to around four meters.

Ross said: ‘We didn’t see any 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁 take place.

The hippo could have been dead for any number of reasons, sometimes male hippos will occasionally 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁 babies too.

‘We have seen croc 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁s before, but we have never seen a croc playing with its prey.

‘One could compare it to an Orca Whale playing with a seal. It looked to me as almost identical behaviour.’

Mr Ross watched the crocodile’s performance for around 25 minutes before it took its food into deeper water and disappeared from sight.

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