Why this seemingly innocent picture of a fisherman has caused outrage among wildlife experts
- A fisherman has been pictured in a body of water home to saltwater crocodiles
- Photo captured in Rapid Creek, northern Darwin shows the man deep in water
- The muddy water is the perfect hiding place for Australia’s apex predators
A keen fisherman has risked his life for a barramundi after casting a line while waist deep in croc-infested waters.
Photos captured in Rapid Creek, a northern suburb of Darwin in the Northern Territory, show the man fishing in the murky waters at about 6.30pm on July 4.
The angler placed himself into the hunting ground of Australia’s apex predators, with dirty grey water being the perfect camouflage for crocodiles looking for their next meal.
The photo captured (above) shows a Rapid Creek fisherman waist deep in croc-infested waters, putting himself in grave danger while trying to catch barramundi
The person who captured the picture told NT News that the fisherman didn’t even manage to catch anything, as other people out of the water successfully reeled in barramundi.
‘I thought he was risking his life and was very stupid for doing what he was doing, he was in the water for about 30 mins, he was the only one out in the water,’ the unnamed person said.
A common misconception that crocodiles aren’t around in the dry season has given Darwin residents a false sense of confidence, experts say.
Senior Wildlife Ranger with the Crocodile Management Team, Tom Nichols said that anyone who goes near water in the Northern Territory’s top end should not forget that crocodile’s inhabit the area.
‘People are making the most of the beautiful weather, however you must always assume a large and potentially dangerous crocodile could be living in any body of water in the Top End.
Crocodiles (pictured) hide in the Northern Territory water bodies, as the murky water provides the perfect hiding place as they stalk their prey
Rapid Creek, a northern suburb of Darwin, has many bodies of water (pictured above) which authorities are warning swimmers and fisherman to assume are home to crocodiles
‘We live and play in croc country and there is no room for complacency. Just because you haven’t seen a crocodile in an area before does not mean one hasn’t moved in.’
This image emerged after two other Darwin fishermen captured the moment a crocodile lurking near their boat completely vanished.
Neal Fischer and Brychan Hawker were using their drone to film the Cox Peninsula, west of Darwin, during a fishing trip on Saturday when they saw the giant reptile swimming in a rip on June 6.
Every time the pair moved the drone closer to the crocodile, it would plunge down into the water and out of sight.
When the footage was shared on Facebook by the ABC, users to flocked to the comments section to share their horror.
‘It just disappears,’ one shocked viewer wrote.
‘It’s not stupid. Sitting there to the side of the rip, just waiting for something to be pulled past it,’ another added.
WHAT IS A SALTWATER CROCODILE?
- It is the largest of all living reptiles, growing up to 6m in length and up to a tonne in weight
- Typically remain motionless and camouflaged for very long periods, and are often mistaken for a partially submerged log
- Able to propel itself through the water at surprising speed up to speeds of around 18km/h
- With eyes and nostrils on top of its head, it can remain mostly hidden beneath the surface of the water
- Distinguished by its large size, bulk and wide rounded snout
- Mouth contains 40-60 large teeth designed to rip flesh off prey as food is swallowed whole
- Strictly carnivorous, it eats fish, birds, and even wallabies, water buffalo, cattle, flying foxes, crabs and turtles that venture near the water’s edge
- Most prey are ambushed and then drowned or swallowed whole
- When hunting prey, they lie in wait, partially submerged or completely underwater
- Inhabit the mangrove swamps, coastal marshes, and river mouths, around the top of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland
- The saltwater crocodile can live up to 70 years old
Source: Australian Reptile Park