By Tom Gillespie @TomGillespie1

A HELPLESS young zebra found itself in troubled waters after being attacked by two crocodiles

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Foal play: A young zebra comes under attack in the Mara River

The foal was crossing the Mara River in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, when one of the enormous reptiles spotted an opportunity.

The determined zebra managed to escape the jaws of the first predator only to be dragged under by the second crocodile.

Earning its stripes: The foal tries to get away

South African photographer Les Penfold captured the brutal scene on a 16 day trip to the game reserve.

The persistent zebra struggles to break free

The 52-year-old chartered accountant said: "This particular zebra was in a herd that crossed.

The great escape: The zebra appears to be winning

"He was lagging slightly behind and that was probably part of he reason he was isolated and caught.

The young animal keeps its head just above water

"Sadly for this poor zebra, the second crocodile launched a determined attack and succeeded in taking it down.

Double trouble: The unlucky zebra is attacked by a second crocodile

"Whilst it is understandable that this is a natural event and part of the circle of life, it is hard not to shout for and support the zebras as they attempted to cross the Mara River.

Troubled waters: The crocodile clamps its jaws on its vulnerable prey

"They are reasonably intelligent animals with good eyesight and can often weave their way through the awaiting crocodiles.

The second predator begins to drag the foal under

"This is unlike the white-bearded wildebeest that typically walk straight through the river oblivious to the crocodiles and often succumb to the attacks."

Game over: The juvenline zebra loses its fight for life

Les took the images on August 19 with the whole attack taking place within just four seconds.

Older zebras can be quite skilled in averting crocodiles, but the younger ones can be less fortunate.

Les explains: "Younger foals generally have less luck and do fall prey to the patrolling crocodiles, some of which are up to six metres in length.

"Whilst it is sad to see any animal give up its life, it is very satisfying to be a witness to the event and be able to capture this wildlife story on camera.”