Saltwater Crocodiles Stalk Australian Fisherman and American Crocodile Grabs Pet
This week there have been a number of news stories about crocodiles, the majority focusing on what crocodiles do best, ambushing prey. In Australia, a local fisherman was stalked by large Saltwater crocodiles for three days as flood waters encircled his remote fishing lodge, whilst in America a rare American crocodile attacked and killed a large, pet dog.
Unfortunately, crocodile attacks are a relatively common occurrence as tourists and fishermen venture into crocodile habitats. The increasing number of Saltwater (Crocodylus porosus), otherwise known as Estuarine Crocodiles in northern Australia has led to a number of reports of attacks by these huge, reptilian predators.
Attacks in Florida by the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) are much less frequent than attacks by the more common and generally thought to be the more aggressive American Alligator, but for one Sunshine State couple such an attack led to the loss of their pet dog – Roxie.
When Janet and Larry Porath and their visiting family returned to their Key Largo home from a late lunch out, they heard a splash as they relaxed in their waterfront facing backyard. It was the splash caused by a crocodile attack, ambushing their pet dog and dragging her into the water.
According to the witnesses, the crocodile leaped at least four feet out of the water to snatch the 65-pound mixed breed dog head-first off the seawall. The crocodile, estimated to be around 4 metres in length, was seen by neighbours swimming a few feet from the Poraths’ house. Roxie was in its mouth.
Neighbours Spotted the Crocodile with the Dog in its Mouth
Picture Credit: Florida Keys Reporter
“The first one I saw was sitting out the back on the veranda in about a foot of water, maybe a bit more. I thought to myself, ‘Well, there’s a warning, there’s a crocodile there. Where there’s one, there’s probably two or three or more’.”
Donovan said a second crocodile placed itself underneath the house, after he spotted it through a window. Becoming very concerned for his own safety Mr Donovan sort refuge on top of a billiard table, the highest place that he could find.
With some supplies packed around him, Mr Donovan watched the water level rise inch by inch.
“The water just kept going up and up and up, and it was just an inch or so above the nets where the balls are collected by the billiard table, and I thought, ‘Well, the next step is the roof, I’m out of here’.”
The plucky fisherman was rescued from his three day stand off when he was eventually spotted by a passing helicopter which had gone to check on him after he failed to answer his satellite phone. Officials then alerted a local fishermen who set out to rescue him. Had the water level risen any higher, Mr Donovan is certain that the crocodiles would have attacked.
It has been reported that Saltwater crocodiles kill on average two people per year.