Excuuuuuuse me while I shit my pants!
As many of you know, I am scared shitless of alligators. So, when I read a story like this about crocodiles (the alligator’s badass cousin), I experience instant and potentially explosive intestinal motility.
It seems that 60-year old Barry Jeffries and his wife were fishing from a canoe in a waterhole in a national park in northern Australia, when an 800+ pound crocodile (like the one pictured above) followed their fishing lines to the canoe and dragged Mr. Jeffries out of the canoe by his arm, capsizing the canoe. The wife swam to shore, but the Mr. Jeffries has not yet been found and is presumed dead.
The suspected killer croc was shot the following day, much to the horror of the environmentalists and even the Jeffries’ family. It also turns out that the Mr. Jeffries and his wife were themselves environmentalists, who in the past wrote to a newspaper objecting to the possible culling of crocs after an attack in another location. In the letter, the Mrs. Jeffries wrote:
“A sensible assessment of the situation is more worthy than the sensational outcry that culling would save human lives. Most Australians never venture into these remote areas, and those who do know that preparation needs to be taken,”
I cannot imagine what kinds of preparations Mrs. Jeffries had in mind. The area where the couple had been fishing requires a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to and is posted as being a place where one can expect to find crocodiles. It seems to me that fishing in that water, under any circumstances, was a bad idea, and fishing from something as easily capsized as a canoe was a very bad idea. But, hey, what do I know. I’m just a guy who can happily live the rest of his life without ever being within a hundred miles of a gator or a croc.
Bonus: For a few hair-raising stories about these Australian crocs, check out this article. Here’s a sample:
“These animals are relics of a prehistoric age. They have no natural enemies except man and they fear nothing. They are known by a variety of names — crocs, lizards, mud geckos, bities, leather handbags — but they are always treated with respect born of fear. Fishermen in the north commonly say that if you fall out of your dinghy in a croc-infested creek, you’ll be back in before getting wet.”
I’d love to visit Australia some day, but I’ll make damned sure I go where the crocs ain’t