Dragged From Tent by Croc!

Submitted: Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 15:29
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A 19 year old man was dragged from his tent while sleeping in the NT near Katherine but was lucky to escape.
News report here.
It was reported that the camp was 15 metres from the water's edge. The recommended minimum distance in croc zones is 50 metres...... even a lot more for me!
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Allan

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 16:00

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 16:00
Hi Allan

One very lucky man indeed.


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Stephen
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Reply By: Raider28 - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 17:41

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 17:41
Years ago my brother in law was up North and him and a mate settled in for a session at a pub. Later in the night someone asked where they were staying and when they said swagging on the river bank at a particular spot the whole pub went quiet. It was then explained to them the dangers of doing that , especially with the resident saltie at that particular spot and people started saying good bye to them, then and there. Needless to say they slept in the car.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:17

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:17
Not sure if we're getting the full story here. The news media initially reported he was refusing to say how he got the injuries.

Maybe he went and stood on the rivers edge for a leak in the early morning, and the croc lunged at him?

I could imagine a croc grabbing someone in a swag - but going into a tent?
Not so sure that a croc would do that. Certainly can't recall anyone else being grabbed from inside a tent.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:49

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:49
Hi Ron,

The ABC news item has changed a little. Initially he was reported as kicking the croc with his "other foot" but now it is "struck it once or twice with his hand". You never seem to get precise facts in a news report.

In any case, a swag, tent or anything else, I would not be sleeping 5m from a croc bank. Being unsure that a croc would not enter a tent would not be enough reliance for me thank you very much.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 19:37

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 19:37
Hi Ron

A few years ago, a man was taken from his tent when he was camped on the beach up on Cape York. He was only saved when near by campers hear his screams and someone with a rifle started shooting the croc as he was being dragged towards the sea.


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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 19:39

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 19:39
Allan, yes, you're spot on there - I certainly wouldn't trust a tent for protection against a croc.

I did some research and found that there have been two recorded croc attacks on people inside tents.
There may have been others in earlier decades when croc attacks weren't always mentioned in news articles.

However, in recent decades, I can only find those two reports of croc attacks on people in tents.
One was in 1990 at a site "120 miles South of Darwin", according to this report in a U.S. newspaper.

Croc attack on people in tent - 1990

The other one was North of Cooktown at Bathurst Bay, in 2004.

Croc attack at Bathurst Bay, 2004

It certainly pays to be "Croc-wise, in Croc-country" - which a lot of people aren't.

Be Croc wise in Croc country

I certainly wouldn't be camping at ground level within 50M of any water in croc country, even though that is a recommended mininum.
I prefer to keep at least about 100M between myself and crocs! LOL

I have to admit, I've been much closer to them than that, in a boat - but I have a very great respect for their speed, their cunning, and their aggressiveness - particularly the bigger ones.

I find watching the wildlife croc-attack videos in Africa on YouTube fascinating, as it reveals how the crocs are happy to attack animals even twice their size.

I can't believe how some of the wild animals in Africa can actually escape from a croc that's latched onto them, putting up a terrific fight.

I guess a lot must die anyway from their injuries, even if they do get away from the croc.

Overall, the chances of surviving a croc attack are at best probably about 50%, so I'm happy to not give the crocs even the slightest chance!

The stupendous weight of a big croc is obviously something that they utilise to their advantage, to assist in killing their prey.

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 07:59

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 07:59
My missus was one up on the crocs at Virilya Point.

At night would drag the esky in front of the zipped up door of the tent!

They never got us, so it worked.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 08:16

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 08:16
My brother did a lot of bushwalking on the Cape. Anywhere near water he'd keep a fire going beside the hike tent at night. He'd been approached.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 09:28

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 at 09:28
I think that keeping the tent zipped up is the key due to the crocs small brain and lack of opposable thumbs....however, thinking about it with my much larger brain, they are pretty big...make sure the tent has bloody strong canvas. :-)
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 20:27

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 20:27
Gday Allan
And sleeping in the vehicle.
Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 21:58

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 21:58
-
Indeed Muz,
It imparts a comfort well beyond just the 150mm mattress!
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Allan

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 11:03

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 11:03
If anywhere near croc country the only tent I would feel safe in would be a roof top tent.
I've seen a video made from memory back in the 60's or thereabouts of a large croc ambushing a water buffalo at a river bank or water hole. Before the buff could get back the croc latched onto it's face, did the roll which knocked the buff off it's feet on the slippery bank and dragged it under.
Any animal could do that to a full grown water buffalo has my utmost respect.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: bj_cruiser - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 12:20

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 12:20
Previous life I worked in litchfield np, as well as nhulunbuy as ranger for ntpws. Locals get complacent, especially when on the turps and the tourists (my experience the German die hard knife on the belt types) dont know better. Between the two spent many hours telling people not to camp next to the waterhole or river crossing they decided would be a nice spot to camp.

Have swagged it on the beach many a nite few hundred kms out of nhulunbuy on hunting trips with local mob, and plenty times Yolngu rangers ive been with have woken up middle of the night having smelt a croc (literally) and weve moved on.

Yes you can haul a rooftop tent around if you want to add that weight up top and could be arsed setting it up. Otherwise just swag it away from the water and if you are near water check for slide marks before you camp.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 13:05

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 13:05
Just take a dog with you as crocs are real dog lovers.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 16:55

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 16:55
9900Eagle - I'm a bit worried the dog would be the appetiser, and the human would be the main course! LOL


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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 17:31

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 17:31
Ron,once they have tasted dog they don't want pigs anymore. From my kitchen rules. Reference wikikitchen.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 19:41

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 at 19:41
Yes, they don't call dogs 'croc biscuits' for nothing.........
Speaking of complacency, we thought we had our game together walking high up the beach back to our liberty boat one night on Groote, staggering from the alyangula golf club to the boat ramp.
Local aboriginals fishing at the ramp gave us a gob full when we got to the ramp. It turns out that the lights from the loading wharf actually serve to 'front light' the beach and the 2 local crocs wander up into the first dune at night and ambush back towards the water..........'everybody knows that' according to the fishos.
Reality hit pretty hard. Luckily we were a group of about 10 drunks and we managed to inadvertently stick together.

I managed to meet one of the family members from the Bathurst bay attack a long while ago too. It turns out that one member of the party had unlocked a rifle, assembled it to carry out maintenance and had forgot to put it away or some such thing, but in the time of need there was indeed a rifle close to hand and it saved the bloke being dragged away. If I remember correctly it was his mum who either shot the croc or wrestled with it until someone else shot the croc? Very very lucky in any event, and yes, he was taken from a tent.
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 00:35

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 00:35
What can you say local bloke camping close to the water's edge should have known better and yes crocs numbers are increasing, it seems the number of attacks are as well but people are still taking too many risks and some are slow learners.
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Reply By: Iza B - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 08:24

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 08:24
News report does not mention a tent, only a mossie net. I was wondering how the croc opened the tent zip.

I once took a couple of backpackers camping on a riverbank down to the water's edge and showed them a couple of croc slides. They did not think there would be a problem because they had a good look when they arrived and did not see any crocs.

Iza
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 09:02

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 09:02
The ABC news report associated with the link I provided keeps being upgraded. The initial report stated "a tent".
If it continues to evolve maybe the incident never happened!
Very difficult to accept any media report as having any validity.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 15:30

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 at 15:30
The victim himself has spoken to the media and he's stated in several different media sites and interviews that he was sleeping with just a mozzie net over him.

Sleeping at just 15M from the waters edge in the Douglas Daly region, he might as well have gift wrapped himself as a present to the crocs!

Crocs brains have a cerebral cortex, like all mammals - but the croc cerebral cortex is particularly well-developed, and isn't a long way below the human brain. The cerebral cortex is known to have the abilty to enable abstract thought processes and planning.

Researchers have found that crocs appear to have the ability to work as a team to hunt down prey.
I know many people who say that crocs never stop watching you, and planning their moves, when they know you're least alert.
This is pretty standard technique with all the major wild predatory animals, anyway - you see it most visibly in big cat behaviour.
Leopards in particular are just amazing to watch, they're the ninjas of the wild.

Many people treat crocs as just big dopey reptiles - but the evidence is that they are as cunning and resourceful as any big predator - and they certainly regard us as easy prey once they get to mature size.

Cheers, Ron.
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