Conservationist Details 20-Foot Crocodile’s Terrifying Attack on His Tiny Boat

by Craig Garrett
Nile Crocodile Attack - stock photo

A professional Australian crocodile catcher recounted a horrific event where he had to capture a gargantuan 20-foot-long reptile. Matt Wright is an Australian conservationist, animal relocation expert, and the star of the Netflix series Wild Croc Territory. The show depicts Wright and his colleagues as they capture and relocate giant creatures–one of the most treacherous jobs in existence.

Wright comes from Australia’s Northern Territory, which houses over 100,000 saltwater crocodiles. Due to the dangerous nature of his work, he has been involved in many life-threatening situations. “There are always a few interesting moments with these crocs,” Wright told Newsweek. Wright was referring to an encounter with a 20-foot reptile.

Wright and his team were on a small, 12-foot boat in the middle of a dark body of water. The group had finally found and cornered the “massive” crocodile when it attacked their boat. “He just grabbed the boat with his teeth and tore the whole side of it out and flipped us upside down,” he recalled. “In that moment, I thought, ‘F***ing hell. Everything went black in a heartbeat.”

“There was a lot of noise, a lot of crunching,” Wright said. “It was like nothing I’d ever heard before. We all just scrambled and ended up in different directions. This animal had the boat [and was] literally just throwing it around like a tin can. It was a pretty wild night. It was unbelievable.” In a situation like this, people are powerless to do anything against these creatures, said Wright.”You’ve got no control. At least he already had something in its mouth and it wasn’t us,” he quipped.

Matt Wright on being the ‘real’ Crocodile Dundee

The crocodile wrangler has been around wildlife his entire life, growing up in the Australian Outback and Papua New Guinea. “I was catching brown snakes since I was about 6 years old. It’s pretty much our day-to-day life in northern Australia. It’s great to be able to showcase what we do up there. A lot of people don’t get to see that and haven’t seen that since the days of Crocodile Dundee.”

Wright is a conservationist who not only aims to protect these creatures from human threats but also prevent people from coming to harm. “Removing them and taking them out of their natural habitat isn’t the most ideal situation, but unfortunately, with human populations encroaching into their land, it’s a necessity,” he explained. “If we don’t do what we do, then they get shot.”

“It’s a dangerous job trying to catch these massive crocodiles and move them into areas where they’re not going to be disturbed in the future,” Wright added. However, Wright sees himself as a protector of the long-lived species. “It is important. These animals are 70, 80, 100 years old, and they have every right to be there. Unfortunately, there are a lot of farmers who think that they don’t have every right to be there. So I’d rather try and move them the best we can than see them get killed.”