Australian Man Catches Monster Croc, Stirs Controversy on Social Media

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
August 7, 2017Newsshare
Australian Man Catches Monster Croc, Stirs Controversy on Social Media
(Screenshot via Facebook, Matt Wright)

A photo of a monster crocodile that was caught by Australian outback Wrangler, Matt Wright and posted on Facebook has gone viral, but it’s also created some controversy.

Wright uploaded the photo of the saltwater crocodile on Saturday, Aug. 5, garnering over 4,000 likes, 690 shares, and hundreds of comments as of writing.

But most of those comments were from people pointing out the thick layers of white duct tape covering the croc’s snout and eyes. Especially from animal lovers who criticized the use of the tape.

Sally-Jo Famlonga commented, “Did you get enough tape on him? Hope that’s not staying on for too long poor boy.” 

“Leave the poor animal alone,”  Dean Adermann wrote. 

Another person said there was no reason to tie the croc up in the first place.

Am I the only one who disapproves? Looks like a wild area and no reason to wrangle it for trophy sake or relocation. Bet he killed it. There is no caption, info, or anything so I can only assume the worst,” Dolph C. Volker wrote.

However, others also took to the defense of the outback wrangler.

“I’m pretty sure this bloke knows what he is doing, unlike all the people commenting from their office chairs,” John Gills wrote. 

Another comment from Matt Skinner, explained how the tape was used for a good reason.

“The tape is used for 2 reasons, to protect the people relocating the croc and as it covers the eyes the croc is not stressed and kept calm. The tail is still a forcible weapons as are the claws. Large salties like this are highly territorial and can become problematic for the locals,” Skinner wrote. 

In a more recent photo Facebook post, Wright can be seen posing again with a taped-up crocodile.

‘Salties’

The crocodile is the saltwater variety, the largest living crocodile species in the world. Average-size male crocodiles can reach 17 feet and 1,000 pounds, but specimens 23 feet long and weighing 2,200 pounds are also not uncommon. Despite their name, saltwater crocodiles also dwell inland in freshwater rivers and swamps.

“Salties,” as Australians call them, feed mainly on small reptiles, fish, turtles, and birds, but they can also attack and eat much larger prey such as wild pigs, buffaloes, even cattle and horses—and humans. They are considered the most dangerous animal in Australia (which has a lot of deadly animals).

The Outback Australia Travel Guide website warns that saltwater crocodile attacks are frequent and result in an average of one or two human fatalities per year.

“Any stories you hear about these creatures stalking other animals and humans, about their size and their strength, are probably NOT exaggerated,” notes the site.

Among the long list of guidelines it offers for how to stay safe in crocodile country, the website advises: “Never stand on logs or similar overhanging the water. Australian saltwater crocodiles can jump to attack! Also, never turn your back, always face the water.”

One of the attacks the site describes happened to a 62-year-old man in September 2008 in northern Queensland. The man had been camping and disappeared while checking his crab pots. All that was found at the water’s edge was a broken rope, a video camera, and crocodile slide marks. In the following two weeks three large saltwater crocodiles were caught, one of which contained the remains of a human body.

In another incident, an 11-year-old girl was swimming in a non-public area near Darwin when a crocodile grabbed her right in front of her friends. Children are more commonly croc attack victims because of their size.

At sea, the crocodiles can travel over 600 miles. Their habitat ranges from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to as far away as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and even India. However, due to decades of hunting for their prized hides, the only stable populations today exist in Australia and PNG mainly thanks to more recent conservation efforts.

‘Outback Wrangler’

Wright has a show called the “Outback Wrangler” on National Geographic and according to his official website, is an animal expert who has created a career as a wildlife relocator that tracks down, captures, and transports a range of dangerous animals, including crocodiles.

“Matt Wright is a proud ambassador of the Worldwide Veterinary Service and his objective is always based on the preservation of wildlife: to remove and relocate problem animals rather than to kill them,” the website reads.

Wright’s public Facebook page has over 61,000 followers and posts predominantly photos and videos of him with huge crocodiles and other Australian outback photos.

Watch this closeup look inside a crocodile’s mouth.

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