Images: Corlette Wessels/Caters News

Talk about a close call! This is the moment a lucky wildebeest came moments away from being dragged to his death by his tail by a hungry croc. This wildebeest owes his life to the lucky timing of a herd of zebras crossing the river.

It all started when a jumpy wildebeest dove into the Mara river between Tanzania and Kenya. Bad idea.

Thousands of animals were crossing the Mara river for their seasonal migration into Tanzania, and the crocodiles knew this. They patiently waited submerged near the river banks in hopes of snatching an easy meal.

It looked as though this wildebeest was about to meet a sticky end, as an enormous croc emerged from the murky water and grabbed hold if its tail.

But on this day, fate smiled upon the wildebeest.

A large herd of zebras arrived at the river and began to cross.

The herd of zebras distracted the croc enough so it loosened its grip, allowing its lunch to scramble up the river banks to safety.

This lucky escape was captured on camera by amateur photographer and full time mom Corlette Wessels from Johannesburg, South Africa.

“This croc only got the wildebeest by the tail. I was amazed that he had such a strong hold on the wildebeest by just clinging onto his tail,” Wessels told reporters.

“The wildebeest was fighting and almost got to the bank of the river but then the crocodile kept pulling it back deeper into the river.

“The strength of this crocodile was unreal; I could not believe how he pulled this wildebeest like a toy into the river.”

“But then some zebras decided to cross and swam right towards the crocodile and wildebeest – the Zebra almost looked like they trampled the crocodiles as they swam,” Wessels noted.

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ROARING EARTH / CATERS NEWS – PHOTOS: CORLETTE WESSELS, VIDEO: SHUTTERSTOCK / naturewatch