• Jonathan Elabor

How crocodiles are hiding in the water

Many tourists get killed down under, they don't understand just how big (and often hidden) the dangers are. I once saved a guy's life simply by stopping him from going towards a river's edge up in the NT...

...he'd been walking along the bank for a few miles and was about to very quickly cool-off his feet, just at the very edge of the water.

He was an American tourist; the water was crystal clear and that part of the bank he'd chosen was a very gentle, shallow slope, so you could see anything coming for about 15 metres or so into the river.


I put a hand out and told him to stop, which perplexed and slightly annoyed him. I told him to look again at the water but to the left a bit, near the tree: It took a while of squinting but then his face suddenly dropped and he almost fainted; there, in the shadow of the tree that was being cast over the water, was a huge crocodile, ...just waiting for him. It was perfectly disguised by both that very shadow and the disruptive reflections of light off the water!!!

It had been stalking him underwater for the whole of his walk (they can feel landbank vibrations in the water; that's how they identify and locate prey on the riverbank without ever surfacing), then had ANTICIPATED his stop-off and gone ahead to ambush him: Hence why he didn't see it arrive but I did, luckily; I'd noticed just the faintest 'shadow of a movement' as I'd been watching some very funny cockatoos that were playing in the tree....

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