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Did These Marsh Crocodiles Just Save a Stray Dog?

A dog thought to be a stray fell into the waters of River Savitri in India and was “saved” by three crocodiles, who appeared to nudge the canine to safety. These marsh crocodiles, called muggers, can grow to be up to 18 feet long and around 1,000 pounds, according to Yahoo News. However, the Wildlife Institute of India says they are not always aggressive.

The dog was being chased by a pack of “feral animals,” according to CBS News, and the dog jumped into the water and was instantly surrounded by crocodiles. Scientists writing in the Journal of Threatened Taxa were quoted as saying: “These muggers were well within striking range and could have easily devoured the dog,” but in photos and videos, it looked as if the crocodiles actually helped the dog to safety.

According to Live Science, these mugger crocodiles have been seen engaging in behaviors like hunting in packs and using sticks as bait. Scientists believe that this act of non-aggression could be a sign that they are more cognitively advanced than originally thought.

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