Although supreme on land, lions sometimes find themselves outside their comfort zone when forced into crossing rivers, especially during the rainy season. This is when the king of the jungle must go on defense.

The video above shows what happened in one such instance. In this rare footage, we witness a young male lion crossing the Sabie River in South Africa’s Kruger National Park when a crocodile sees a prime opportunity to attack.

Almost as soon as the lion enters the river, the hungry reptile spots him and swims up silently behind him. The crocodile sinks its teeth into the cat’s back and manages to submerge the lion below the water for a brief moment.

Luckily for the big cat, however, he’s quick enough to escape the croc’s jaws apparently unscathed and swim to safety.

Unlike jaguars and tigers who love water, lions typically prefer to stay on land – but that doesn’t mean they can’t swim. Lions will venture into water if the situation calls for it, like when they’re chasing prey or need to get across rivers, but as this encounter proves, it can be highly risky.

This particular cat will probably think twice before getting into the river next time.

This sighting occured on the H10 bridge near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park. A special thanks goes out to our partners at Latest Sightings.

Anything can happen when lions and crocodiles cross paths. Click here to watch another video highlighting a crocodile-lion interaction. This time, they meet on shallow riverbed. Just another day in Africa…