An Australian Saltwater Crocodile, the largest crocodile in the world, managed to bite off the thumb of a reptile handler at the Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo near Childers, Queensland, Australia.
Watch this news report about the incident:
The tragic incident happened as the 58-year old crocodile handler was conducting a feeding session. He was trying to get the attention of one of the crocodiles waving his hat he was holding in his left hand, while a chicken was in his right. According to eyewitnesses, the crocodile suddenly leaped out of the water and bit the handler’s hand, pulling him into the water. Part of the man’s thumb and hand was amputated, and he was immediately flown to Bundaberg Base Hospital, where he will undergo surgery.
About the Australian Saltwater Crocodile
The Australian saltwater crocodile is not just the largest crocodile but also the largest reptile in the world. There were larger reptiles earlier but among all living ones, the Australia saltwater crocodile is the absolute winner. It is huge. An average male weigh about a ton. The least that a male Australian saltwater crocodile would weigh is about half a ton. There are quite a few that weigh more than two tons. Some rare ones exceed two tons by another ton or so. Imagine how large or bulky a crocodile weighing three tons can be. Add to that a length of about 25 feet and you get a mammoth size. The largest crocodile is not only a terrifying creature for humans but for all other reptiles and mammals.
The Australian saltwater crocodile has been chronicled by many. It has featured or at least it has been an antagonist in many movies. Dozens of books have mentioned it and there are specific case studies dedicated to the largest crocodile.
The Australian saltwater crocodile is so called because it thrives in the oceanic or salty waters of Australia. However, the species is not restricted to down under alone. The species is also found in Indo-Pacific regions, eastern coasts of India and in some coastal areas of Fiji. The one in Australia is the most terrifying because it has been thriving there over the last five decades. There is not much protection of this species in India and Fiji which has lead to a relative decline in its numbers.
However, the numbers are well protected in Australia. Trading and any kind of commercial utility of the largest crocodile is banned in Australia and there is no threat to the species. It is actually listed as least concern in its conservation status. It is not very surprising that the Australian saltwater crocodile is not endangered considering its outreach, physical strength, survival instincts and the large territory that it occupies.
Being a saltwater croc, it can travel long distances along the coasts. With its size, speed and bulletproof back, it can survive almost all predators. It can also survive planned attacks by humans to an extent. Besides, the Australian saltwater crocodile is ferociously aggressive when it comes to their territory. They can attack anyone who is supposedly trespassing or entering their territory.
The largest crocodile is a brilliant creation of nature, but do exercise caution and don’t venture near it, at any place.
About the Snakes Downunder Reptile Park & Zoo
This fun and affordable Zoo is designed for the whole family. Set just 500M off the Bruce Highway – just south of Childers – it displays over 45 species and sub-species of Australian reptiles, amphibians and marsupials.