Group branded ‘unAustralian’ over dangerous crocodile stunt

For two minutes a 'deadbeat' group filmed themselves trying to lure a large male salty with a chunk of meat.

While it may look like a bit of harmless late-night larrikin fun, a video showing a group “taunting” a Queensland crocodile has been dubbed “unAustralian”.

The two-minute clip appears to show a four-metre-long male salty being spotlighted in the Proserpine River on the Whitsundays. Using a large chunk of chook attached to a rope, the group lures the animal to the water's edge, then celebrate when they hook it.

“You can do whatever you want, this thing’s yours. It’s free," one of them laughs after he watches the crocodile loudly roar as it attempts to cough up the rope.

Three images of a large male saltwater crocodile being lured out of the Proserpine River using a rope and a chunk of meat, likely chicken.
A large male saltwater crocodile is lured out of the Proserpine River using a rope and a chunk of meat. Source: Facebook

One of the men boasts it’s the “best dog” he’s ever had, another says the situation is "wicked". When they later uploaded the video online, they jokingly captioned it "Our pet lizard". But not everyone thinks the video is funny.

Expert angered by 'deadbeats' feeding crocodile

Colourful Queensland crocodile expert Tommy Hayes was angered by the behaviour he saw in the video, and called for it to be pulled down.

His primary concern is that luring crocodiles can result in them losing their fear of humans, and this can lead authorities to deem them as dangerous. “In Queensland, a fed croc is a dead croc,” Tommy told Yahoo News.

Tommy believes the animal in the video is likely an 80-year-old male named Boofhead, a crocodile well-known for stealing large fish from anglers.

Because Boofhead knows he can get food at that corner of the Proserpine, he’s regularly lured by thrill seekers looking for a laugh. “I’ve seen heaps of videos of heaps of deadbeats feeding him. It’s almost like he’s becoming a theme park attraction,” Tommy said.

Why Tommy Hayes thinks video is 'unAustralian'

When asked what he thinks of the behaviour in the video, Tommy doesn’t hold back, describing it as “irresponsible, childish and unAustralian”.

"They obviously hate Australia, because this is a native Australian animal and they're taunting it," he added. "They're causing it to exhibit this "dangerous" behaviour and it's going to be removed. That's the reality of it."

Authorities warn crocodile feeders face $6000 penalties

Queensland’s Department of Environment (DES) confirmed with Yahoo it is aware of a video shared on social media appearing to show a person throwing meat towards a crocodile.

"Anyone with information about the deliberate feeding of crocodiles or dangerous interactions with them is encouraged to report it to DES as soon as possible by calling 1300 130 372," it said.

DES believes feeding crocodiles is “extremely dangerous” because it leads them to associate humans with food. The maximum penalty for feeding a dangerous or venomous creature that’s capable of harming a person is $6,192.

"Fed crocodiles may then start to approach other people for food or hang around areas such as boat ramps waiting for their next easy meal," it added. "The deliberate feeding of crocodiles can place future visitors to the riverbank at that location at an increased risk of a crocodile attack."

The original video has now been deleted and Yahoo has attempted to contact the man who originally posted it.

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