Four fishermen have miraculously escaped major injury after a huge crocodile launched itself into their boat while they were cooking dinner on a river in the Northern Territory.
The men were on the South Alligator River in the Kakadu National Park last Saturday when the reptile, believed to be as big as five metres, jumped into their boat.
One man, from Wollongong in NSW, received body grazes after the crocodile landed inside the boat and bit the seat he was sitting in.
NT Health confirmed the incident, and told Yahoo News Australia the 32-year-old man was treated for minor injuries at Jabiru Health Clinic.
He has since been discharged.
Crocodile expert Dr Adam Britton said while it is “incredibly rare” for a crocodile to jump inside a boat, it was absolutely possible.
“Big crocs can push themselves out of the water, especially if they’ve got something to rest against like the side of a boat,” Dr Britton told ABC News.
“Apparently, this crocodile actually pushed itself over the gunnels and bit the seat that the guy was sitting in.”
He said a five-metre crocodile could lift itself 1.5 to 2 metres out of the water, which is higher than the sides of most small fishing boats.
Crocodile to be captured and relocated
Dr Britton warned visitors to avoid cooking on the river, saying it may have enticed the crocodile to attack.
Rangers from Kakadu National Park are now searching for the crocodile, which will be captured and assessed before likely being relocated.
A Kakadu National Park spokesperson said Traditional Owners are always consulted before a decision is made to destroy a crocodile.
“Parks Australia takes safety at Kakadu National Park very seriously,” the spokesperson said.
“The Park has decades of experience in crocodile management. Crocodile management is a key responsibility of all rangers in Kakadu National Park.
“Kakadu National Park encourages all visitors especially when near waterways to be Crocwise and to familiarise themselves with the safety information on the Kakadu National Park website.“
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com