PAINFUL MISTAKE: Snakes Downunder owner/operator Ian Jenkins is recovering after ‘Macca’ a saltwater crocodile ripped off his thumb and part of his hand.
PAINFUL MISTAKE: Snakes Downunder owner/operator Ian Jenkins is recovering after ‘Macca’ a saltwater crocodile ripped off his thumb and part of his hand. Matthew Mcinerney

Injured croc trainer says Macca isn't aggressive

SNAKES Downunder co-owner Ian Jenkins has had "a few stern words" with 4m-long crocodile Macca after the attack that could have cost him his life.

On January 4, Mr Jenkins was hosting one of his daily crocodile-feeding shows when Macca attacked.

"It was a pure mistake on my part. It's something that should never have happened," Mr Jenkins said.

He said he took a risk to coax Macca to stay out of the water longer for the benefit of those at the park.

In doing so he made a simple mistake, the consequences of which he will have to learn to live with.

Mr Jenkins explained he stepped outside "the arc", which is the safest area for the handler to stand.

"You don't get in that area whatsoever," he said.

"If you're straight on you can see what they're doing and be ready for them. I was slightly off to the side and that's how I got in trouble.

"Their sideways action is incredibly fast."

The saltwater crocodile lashed sideways as Mr Jenkins waved a hat to distract the 4m-long beast.

The croc grabbed Mr Jenkins' left hand holding the hat, ripping his thumb and part of his hand off and sending Mr Jenkins into the water, where he hit his head.

Mr Jenkins praised the quick reactions of his fellow employees, who distracted the crocodile and allowed him to escape.

"It would've been a different story if they weren't there," he said.

Mr Jenkins returned to the Childers reptile park late last week and has been inside Macca's enclosure since the accident, but is understandably keeping a low profile as he gets used to life without a left thumb.

"I want people to understand he's not an aggressive crocodile," Mr Jenkins said.

"It was a pure mistake on my part."



Bundaberg Ruby Princess passenger demands answers

premium_icon Bundaberg Ruby Princess passenger demands answers

RUBY Princess is the vessel that has been linked to 600 cases of coronavirus and 10...

Jewellery is more than meets the eye … and ear

premium_icon Jewellery is more than meets the eye … and ear

LIFE is too short to wear boring earrings and one new start-up is offering...

UPDATE: Park ranger killed by shark was working on CQ island

premium_icon UPDATE: Park ranger killed by shark was working on CQ island

UPDATE: The man was a Queensland Parks employee.