So Nick had done his best job as a decoy, which gave me the time I needed to sneak up on the croc an take him by surprise. Running in from the side I managed to slip my foot under his fat belly, flip him over then pounce on top of him. From there I hog tied his legs, with the rope I forgot to tell you I had, and bounced on him until he gave in.
Seriously that’s what happened, I’m just recapping what I already told you happened.
Okay I guess you were paying attention after all. I was just testing.
So what actually happened?
After we sent the Landcruiser off down the track I asked Nick if he was ready to get out of there but apparently he wasn’t because he wanted to wrestle a crocodile.
No I’m kidding, however he wasn’t ready to leave immediately, he wanted to get a few snaps of the croc for the National Parks officers. It’s kind of like tag and release fishing, that is done so scientists can track where the fish go, how long they survive and various other things. Up in our area tag and release isn’t something we can do, we are just crocodile wrestlers not taggers, but we do record what we see.
I might have mentioned that crocodiles can be a bit of a menace in that they can hang around a camp site, even a small community and even without attacking just terrorise anyone in the vicinity, they can even hang around while no people are present seemingly just waiting for new visitors to arrive. So for that reason up here in the north west we collect information like where the animal was, if it was being a threat, how many there were and other environmental information. That information is then passed on to the Rangers and National Park operators who can see where crocodiles are. Such information is then used to figure out if crocodile migration is happening in areas that pose a risk to humans, and whether or not some crocodiles might require being located.
Thankfully, despite our reputation for wrestling crocs, (I promise I’ll stop with that soon), we don’t often get invited to the crocodile relocation program. We might get asked to come and help some campers out or something like that but generally the experts do the crocodile relocation without us. And we don’t have a problem with that.
So where was I? Oh yeah Nick wanted to get a few happy snaps of the crocodile. He’d already taken some shots around the camp site while he waited for us perched on his bullbar but he hoped to get something a little closer that might help the experts better identify the crocodile.
As I’ve told you before we aren’t silly and we don’t take unnecessary risks, EVER, so we weren’t about to wander into the area where the crocodile was seen and ask it to say cheese. No of course not, our plan was much safer.
I’d reverse the Beast up, not on top of the crocodile, but closer than it was, Nick would stand on the tray well back from the edge, and he’d get the best shot he could of the croc if it was still there.
Now I guess you’re probably thinking that you’ve seen crocodiles leap out of the water for food, you might even have seen that hilarious photo on the internet where the croc’s snout is higher than the boat and only his front legs are out of the water. That particular image usually pops up in one of those “Meanwhile In Australia”, or “Australian pictures you wont believe” collections and it never ceases to amaze me. Seriously it’s no wonder tourists think all out crocs will eat them on site when people actually think those photos are real.
I suppose there was a chance that the crocodile could have jumped up on the back of the Beast, it’s about a metre and a half off the ground, but it was only a slim chance and without water and the ability to use it’s tail to propel upwards the chances were lessened. Beside we didn’t even know the thing was still there.
As it turned out the crocodile was still there and Nick was able to get a few pictures of it, the inquisitive thing even poked it’s head out so Nick could get a better shot of it, but that was as dangerous as it got. There was no jumping, leaping, snapping, biting or screaming, just a few simple photos and we drove away. Sorry to let you down in the excitement stakes but my life isn’t all excitement!
I drove Nick the twenty or so metres to his cop truck where he climbed off the tray and into his vehicle. Again there was no crocodile attack to make things exciting but we got by and in a matter of minutes we were both headed slowly down the track towards the Franklin’s and their rented four wheel drive.
It took us about forty five minutes to get the gear off the back of the Beast and help the Franklin’s repack their vehicle. They had already decided before we got back to them that they were going to hit the road despite the time being well after lunch time and we didn’t stop them. On the other hand Matthew, Nick and I decided we’d eat before hitting the road again. I didn’t have much in the Beast but a few two minute noodles cooked on the portable gas cooker and a bottle of cold water does wonders to fuel the body when it’s been hours since you ate.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.