Aussie's crocodile encounter reveals deadly mistake: 'All over'

The crocodile gets incredibly close to the tour guide before he spots the animal stalking him.

Wild footage of an Aussie encountering a large crocodile on the Northern Territory's Arnhem coast has surfaced online this week, with the man offering valuable advice on how to be "crocwise" during the encounter.

"It’s their water and they’ve lived in it for millions of years so we have to respect them and share the top of Australia with them," Tour guide David McMahon told Yahoo News Australia. "We’re lucky to have them."

David McMahon can be seen giving the camera a thumbs up (left) and his crocodile encounter can be seen on the right.
David McMahon posted footage of his crocodile encounter, with the animal approaching him on the Arnhem coast. Source: Instagram and TikTok / davidmcmahonaustralia

While collecting cockles on the beach David spotted the animal in the water "taking a keen interest" in him, slowly closing the distance between the two of them.

"This is a great opportunity here to talk about crocodile behaviour," David said in the video, demonstrating the difference his body position had on his safety.

"While I'm crouched down like this I'm a potential prey item," he said. "But in a second here I stand up and I go from being potential prey to a potential threat."

The croc "immediately" backs away when David stands, showing how the tour guide managed to alter the animal's response to him. He said the crocodile is not as close to him as it appears because he has zoomed in on the footage.

"If this was steep river bank in muddy water there would be no way I'd see him... it would be all over."

Big reaction to huge crocodile: 'Way too close'

The video garnered plenty of interest online with people thanking David for the heads up while others stressed the encounter was "way too close" for comfort.

"Don’t go anywhere near the edge of the water," one man warned, passing on another commonly shared tip while in croc country — an area in Far North Queensland where no waterway is considered croc free.

The crocodile can be seen facing the beach before quickly turning and swimming away on the right.
The crocodile was approaching David as he was crouched down on the beach (left) but swiftly turned and swam away when he stood and made himself appear larger (right). Source: TikTok

Despite sharing the footage this week to his TikTok, David's encounter with the "big fella" happened in March, yet his teachings are timeless for those who live or visit the area.

Last week a 67-year-old man was attacked by a croc at a popular swimming spot in the Northern Territory, with Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park closed after the incident.

There are between 20,000 to 30,000 saltwater crocodiles in Queensland, with the animal listed as vulnerable after they were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1970s, The Guardian reports.

"It always pays to be really careful in croc country. Stay back from the water and don't mess around with these big boys," David said.

How to practice 'crocwise' behaviour, according to Department of Environment and Science

  • Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe

  • Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night

  • Stay well away from croc traps – that includes fishing and boating

  • The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks

  • Stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure

  • Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water

  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp

  • Never provoke, harass, or feed crocs

  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead.

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