“Are you sure it’s a good idea that I do this?” I look nervously from the people that enter the crocs’ enclosure to the two “freshies”.
“It’s allright mate, the protectors will be watching too. Just keep an eye on them for now. If they open their mouth halfway, spread their feet out-”
“Like that?” I point to the biggest of the freshwater crocodiles.
“Yeah, that’s their attack stance. Now watch, and if they makes a move, yell.”
They might not be very large, but trust me, their teeth are.
I was standing on the other side of a thick,tall glasswall, yet I jumped, seriously I really jumped, when they attacked. I never saw it coming. Suddenly they lunged forward, splashing me in the face with dirty water, and went for the rakes the protectors were holding. I knew crocodiles are fast, but not like this. Some spotter I am, right?
This green rake sadly didn’t make it…
I’ve learned a lot about crocodiles since I came to Australia. At first I thought it was a joke that they have three eyelids, but what do you know, they do! I can finally remember the difference between them and alligators and have advanced to knowing the difference between freshwater crocodiles and saltwater (the later is bigger and more territorial). I didn’t expect to be working this closely with them when I started my volunteer program, but I have found that they are amongst the most interesting animals that I deal with on a daily basis. I also have a newfound respect for them, and Crocodile Dundee for that matter. Never will I ever forget what this sign means:
Underestimating crocodiles might be the last thing you ever do. So don’t.