Crocodile warning sign ignored by men 'with a death wish'

At least four men could be see wading in waters, despite a crocodile being spotted there a month earlier.

A short video shot by a woman travelling around the Top End has shocked many Aussies, after she revealed fishermen were putting their lives at risk by wading in known crocodile waters.

Just metres away from the flooded road a bright yellow handwritten sign reads "Extreme danger: Do not enter the water. A large saltwater crocodile/Ginga has been sighted here on 1/3/2024". But despite the warning, at least four men can be seen standing nonchalantly in the water fishing.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Rishana shot the video while travelling through Kakadu National Park in March, towards Cahills Crossing – a popular crocodile viewing spot.

Left - a crocodile warning sign. Right - People watching a fisherman wading in water near the sign.
Fishermen were seen entering water close to a crocodile warning sign. Source: @freyarishana/TikTok

Related: Fisherman's 'stupid' decision near crocodile captured in shocking video

She stopped her vehicle and began filming because the road was flooded, but having lived in Darwin for three years, and having regularly witnessed casual rule-breaking, she didn’t initially think anything of the people ignoring the danger.

“On the way to the road, here and there we saw a lot of people doing fishing. I don’t know. I guess it’s normal in Darwin,” she told Yahoo News. “Maybe they already know about the crocodiles because they’re the ones living in that area.”

Internet reacts to crocodile video

Many internet users were not as comfortable with the fishermen’s behaviour as Rishana was. “Darwin Award line up,” one person quipped, referencing annual tongue-in-cheek awards that recognise people who die by their own careless actions.

“Death wish!” one person wrote. “Someone feels like bait,” another suggested “Natural selection” was another statement repeated in the comments.

While some locals may not worry about the threat of crocodiles, Northern Territory authorities warn the reptiles can be found in all waters and fishermen should not “become complacent” because human interactions with them “can be risky”.

It recommends visitors should obey all crocodile signs and to fish five metres from the water’s edge. “Crocodile danger is real and attacks can be fatal. [They] are expert hunters and well camouflaged – they will see you before you see them,” National Parks and Wildlife warns.

Paul Bowen who runs a crocodile awareness social media site called Croc Conscious is also concerned about the fishermen’s complacency. There have been five recorded crocodile related deaths in Kakadu since it was declared a national park in 1979, and he doesn't want to see any more.

“Signage isn’t a gimmick, it isn’t laughable. It is there for a reason… when people don’t follow these signs it leads to (people) being attacked,” he said.

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