Shellshocked: Terrapin makes lucky escape after crocodile attempts to swallow it whole

A terrapin was seen looking a little shell shocked after nearly being swallowed whole by a crocodile.

Pictured being tossed high into the air by the huge monster, the critter looked sure to become lunch.

Terrapin Escapes Croc

The croc tosses the terrified terrapin into the air

But luckily for the terrified turtle, it seems the crocs eyes were bigger than its belly as the creature was slightly too big to be eaten in one go.

Taken at Lake Panic in Kruger National Park, the croc is then seen trying to crush the terrapin between its powerful jaws.

Terrapin Escapes Croc

Unable to swallow it whole, the croc is then seen trying to crush to the small creature

However, thanks to the wet surface of its shell, the little turtle managed to slip from its grip back into the safety of the murky water.

South African safari guide, Mario Moreno, 49, managed to capture the fleeting moment on camera despite originally visiting the area for its birdlife.

Terrapin Escapes Croc

Thanks to its wet shell, the terrapin managed to slip back into the murky water

Seen resting on a rock after the exhausting ordeal, the tricky terrapin managed to escape the jaws of death to live another day.

Mario said: “I was focusing particularly on a landscape shot of the lake when one of my guests alerted me to one of the crocodiles making a move.

Terrapin Escapes Croc

The terrapin looked a little shell shocked after the near death experience

“I quickly turned to my right and was lucky enough to get a few shots of the action.

“The crocodile was tossing the terrapin in what I believe was an attempt to put it into position and swallow it.

“But while doing this the terrapin slipped out of the crocodile’s jaws and quickly disappeared.

“It was only about 30 metres away from where we were and there didn’t seems to be any visible damage.

“We saw the turtle later on and despite looking a little shook up, it seemed unharmed.

“I have over 15 years worth of experience as a wildlife photographer I have never seen this happen before.

“The crocs are all over the place patiently waiting for an opportunity, you could sit there for hours and the crocs would just float motionless.

“We were just lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”