An outback pub owner’s violent encounter with a crocodile – fighting it with just a frying pan – has provided warnings to tourists flocking to the Northern Territory this dry season.
- The 3.5 meter long crocodile tried to attack the customs officer south of Darwin
- Tourists and locals are warned about crocodile safety
- More than 300 crocodiles were caught in Top End waters last year
Recorded on video, the 3.5-meter-long crocodile jumps towards customs officer Kai Hansen at Goat Island Lodge, about 70 kilometers south of Darwin on the Adelaide River.
Mr. Hansen, a Territory bush character known as “King Kai”, then strikes the crocodile, Casey, in the head with a frying pan twice before rushing away.
Despite his dance with death, the experienced territorial seemed untouched and told ABC Radio Darwin that there was no evil blood between them.
“Casey’s sweet buddy, she’s my favorite hook,” he said.
“She has a nice smile.”
Croc goes without laughing
Home to more than 100,000 wild saltwater crocodiles, the risk of an unexpected crocodile is serious in the Northern Territory – and frying pans usually do not help.
Ian Hunt, a crocodile ranger with the Northern Territory government, said tourists as well as locals should always remember that they are in “crocodile territory”.
“The most important thing I want to make clear to anyone coming to the territory is that crocodiles can be in absolutely any waterway – salt water or fresh water,” he said.
“There can be saltwater crocodiles in small streams, small billabongs, small water holes. They can all contain large crocodiles that can be a threat to life.”
‘You may be on the menu’
Saltwater crocodiles are larger and far more dangerous than freshwater crocodiles, Hunt said.
“Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodile species on the planet … and they are a very active aggressive crocodile,” he said.
“They hunt very large prey, including buffaloes, pigs, horses, and of course humans fall into that category as well.
For more information on staying alive in the waterways, visit the NT Government’s Be CrocWise website.
Casey the Croc an example of the risks
Hansen said the frying pan was a “good weapon,” adding that this is not the first time he has used one to keep Casey at bay.
About 15 years ago, he said Casey had tried to attack him when he carried food down to her in a frying pan during meal time.
“I lifted the frying pan, the food went out, and then I slapped it down on her nose,” he said.
Sir. Hansen’s ability to quickly forgive Casey’s snapped mood is all the more remarkable given she ate his dog Pippa in 2018.
The little terrier, called “the stupid blonde”, had a reputation for terrorizing Casey by suddenly jumping down the balcony stairs and running towards the crocodile, aiming for her tail.
It was a game that Pippa played for almost a decade before her luck ran out.
“It was not Casey’s fault,” Mr Hansen said of the incident.
“An eight-pound dog should not attack a 300-pound crocodile. Let’s be fair.”