Visitors at a national park in India have captured once-in-a-lifetime footage of a tigress and her three cubs dining on the carcass of a crocodile, which they ambushed and killed as a family.

Pictures taken on Monday (April 15) show the feline family of four lying on the banks of a pond in Ranthambore National Park, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, as they take turns feasting on the spoils of a very fruitful hunt. 

This isn’t the first time the mother — a 6-year-old Bengal tigress (Panthera tigris tigris) named Riddhi — has gone after a crocodile, but it is her first documented success. 

“The footage captured the majestic tigress and her offspring in a rare moment of triumph,” park representatives wrote in a statement. “Riddhi’s prowess solidifies her status as the reigning queen of Ranthambore.”

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Before Riddhi, her grandmother Machli was the park’s resident “crocodile killer,” according to the statement. Machli died in 2016 at the age of 19, but she lives on in the memory of spectators who saw her overpower and slay a 14-foot-long (4.3 meters) crocodile after a long battle.

Visitors saw Riddhi and her cubs dining on the crocodile’s carcass. (Image credit: Ranthambore National Park)

Tigers don’t often go after crocodiles, preferring to attack prey — including pigs, deer, elephant calves and leopards — on land, according to staff at Bandhavgarh National Park in India. 

But the big cats are mighty swimmers, so if a croc happens to be basking near the water’s edge, where crocodiles are more vulnerable than in the water, tigers might take a chance. A tiger can eat more than 80 pounds (36 kilograms) of meat in one sitting, according to the WWF.

Riddhi and her three cubs, which were born in spring 2023, appeared unscathed from the fight. “The crocodile hunting thing is in their bloodline it seems,” Parveen Kaswan, from the Indian Forest Service, wrote in a post resharing the video on the social platform X. 

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