Does anyone have the reference for this croc incident written up in some
journal by Harry Messell? Probably in the late 1970s or early '80s.
Years ago (20+), I spent a couple of weeks on his boat on the Blythe River
learning of his croc survey techniques re their potential application in
Queensland and I read the reprint there, but have long since forgotten what
journal it was in. As I recall, the near fatality happened like this:
Messel's survey included tracking crocs by means of radio transmitters
attached to their necks. Three of his staff had located one very large croc
basking on the far bank of a river. There was a large mangrove leaning out
over the water on their bank, but even after climbing up it and using
binoculars they were not entirely satisfied that they could see whether the
transmitter was still securely fastened to the croc's neck.
One bloke said he had been told that if you splash a leafy branch in the
water it will attract a crocodile - sounds like a fish in distress. They do
that and sure enough the croc's head comes up, and a few seconds later he
walks down to the water, swims out about 10 metres and submerges.
Shortly after, his head comes out of the water right in front of the
mangrove; paused for a split-second, then lunged. And the only thing that
saved the lowest of the three blokes was a small branch on the mangrove that
deflected the croc's strike.
> From: Denise Goodfellow <>
> Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 13:20:47 +0930
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Fwd: Leanyer sewage ponds (Darwin)
> I know the crocodiles at the sewage ponds well. We were first warned of Ben
> back in 1984, I think it was.
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