For Australian tradesman Marcus Kane, Tuesday morning started like any other. After getting ready for the day, he hopped in his truck and left for work, his friends soon following behind. As they made their way down a dirt road in the Northern Territory, however, the men saw something massive lying amid the tire tracks. Slowly driving closer, they realized it was a truly enormous saltwater crocodile, its scaled body stretching almost the full width of the road.
With his friend filming from an out-of-frame vehicle, Marcus Kane jumped out of his truck and fearlessly approached the elephantine reptile, hoping to snap a selfie before continuing with his day. “That’s wicked!” his friend said, shrieking with excitement.
Well, the crocodile didn’t appreciate his morning stroll being rudely interrupted, lunging at the man closest to him and forcing Marcus Kane to jump back to avoid what would have been a nasty bite.
The crocodile satisfied itself by taking a chunk out of Kane’s tire instead. But even seeing the damage it could do in person didn’t dissuade the tradesman. He continued to snap pictures, eventually jumping on top of his ute for a better angle as the crocodile slowly made its way away from its uninvited guests.
“We understand how incredible crocs are. But in a situation like this, please stay inside your car and BeCrocwise,” ABC Darwin urged in the caption of the video. “Crocs should not be underestimated. They move fast and once they have you there is little chance of getting away. Please be safe and admire them from afar.”
Facebook users were similarly disturbed by Kane’s ill-advised actions. “He’s just trying to cross the road, leave the old mate alone,” one user wrote. “Why are people getting out of their vehicles,” another said.
Crocodile Experts Warn Against Taunting Massive Reptiles
According to the Northern Territory Government’s Be Crocwise initiative, the wandering crocodile is nothing new for the area. On the contrary, more than 100,000 saltwater crocs call the territory home. “A large proportion of the coastal region of the Northern Territory is an ideal habitat for saltwater crocodiles. Particularly the big, productive ‘coastal’ wetlands and rivers,” reads the official Crocwise website.
“Our message all year round is to be crocodile aware,” warned a veteran parks ranger while speaking to NT News. “Quite often we’re getting calls, especially in the rural area during the flood time, about crocodiles in people’s backyards, swimming pools, all over the place. Our message is: only swim where there’s a sign saying you can swim.”
The ranger added that the department had caught 225 crocodiles this year alone, with that number exceeding “300-plus” in a typical year. The average saltwater croc grows over 10 feet in length, with males growing up to 20 feet. Both genders, however, are capable of delivering a bone-crushing bite. Marcus Kane is lucky the crocodile gave up the hunt after a single try – this time.