Encounters with Australian Crocodiles

During the past 25 years, crocodiles in Australia have been responsible for 13 deaths and 18 serious injuries. How are people falling victim to these savage beasts? A few dark stories tell the tale.

After starring in the movie “Crocodile Dundee” in 1986, model Ginger Meadows decided to go on her own outback adventure the next year during a visit to Australia. Around 98% of Australia’s population lives in the southern half of the country, away from most of Australia’s crocodile population.

However, on that fateful trip in 1987, Ginger Meadows hitched a ride north.

The model and her friends went for a speedboat cruise to a nearby waterfall called The Cascades. Bruce Fitzpatrick, captain of the 108-foot luxury yacht they had been traveling on, wrote the following in his book Crocodile Attack in Australia (Swan Publishing 1988) about what happened next, when Ginger Meadows and a friend dove in the water for a swim.

“’Crocodile!” Fitzpatrick shouted. “Crocodile! Get out of the water! Get out of the water!”

But the girls had nowhere to go. They were trapped in waist-deep water on a ledge with their backs against a solid wall of rock.

The crocodile was right in front of them, about 15 feet away.

“Ginger was holding onto my arm,” Burchett said. “I screamed as loud as I could to scare the crocodile and took off my shoe and threw it. I think it hit the crocodile. It stopped and looked disconcerted, as though it had lost its bearings. Ginger looked at me and said ‘What do we do now?’”

Burchett was about to say, “I don’t know, but let’s stay here.” But before she could speak, Meadows had let go of her arm and decided to swim to a dry bank on the right side, about 25 yards away.

“She only got a few feet,” Burchett said. “I was thinking, Why, oh why did she do that? Then it happened.”

The crocodile surged toward Meadows and attacked. Grabbing her by the upper legs and hips, its jaws extended past her bikini clad body on both sides. The giant reptile dragged her beneath the water. Resurfacing for an instant, Meadows silently reached to the others for help, but there was nothing anyone could do.”

Cause of death from crocodile attacks is usually drowning, since the vicious animals prefer to lunge, bite, and drag their victims underwater so they can eat in peace without their prey squirming in effort to get away. The Australian crocodile is usually around 5 meters long, and they can run up to thirty kilometers per hour on land. So now, you’re not safe from an Australian croc if you stay clear of the water. Staying clear from their entire habitat is probably a better idea.

Brutus lives in the Adelaide River

Dominator the Crocodile

Dominator is a saltwater crocodile that patrols the Adelaide River of Australia.

VIDEO: The Biggest Crocodiles Ever Recorded