Man’s love-bait relationship with saltie

SHOCKING footage of man getting up close and personal with a giant saltie in Arnhem Land has prompted warnings from a local croc expert, warning the wild animals cannot be tamed.

The video was shared on indigenous site welcometocountry.com and shows a Yolngu man playing with a saltie named Nike - slapping a fish in the sand in front of the beast.

Parks Wildlife Commission NT Chief Wildlife Ranger Tommy Nichols said getting close to a wild saltie was "asking for trouble".

"It's a silly thing to do," he said.

"Crocodiles are extremely unpredictable; it's best to leave the crocodiles well out of the way."

A Yolngu man sits on the beach in attempt to lure a crocodile out of the water.
A Yolngu man sits on the beach in attempt to lure a crocodile out of the water.

Mr Nichols said even if a crocodile acted "friendly" around you a few times, it was important to remember they were wild animals and could snap at any moment.

"A lot of people do have salties as pets - they are usually people that really respect the animals," he said.

"But if people want to get up close and personal to a crocodile go to one of the parks."

The saltwater croc named Nike at Bawaka homeland in East Arnhem Land is being treated as a pet.
The saltwater croc named Nike at Bawaka homeland in East Arnhem Land is being treated as a pet.

Heading into the Wet, Mr Nichols said it was even more important to be careful around the water and steer clear of croc-infested waterways.

According towelcometocountry.com, the Yolngu man in the video claimed Nike was his wild pet crocodile.

"Dima plays with Nike just like you might play with your pet dog or cat - Nike is a very well rounded crocodile who is also blessed with a beautiful smile," reports the site.

"The crocodile is said to visit the beach regularly where it is treated with respect and caution."

Last year, a video filmed by NT News photographer Michael Franchi at famous croc feeding ground Cahills Crossing attracted global attention.

In the footage, a woman can be seen saving a thong to attract the attention of a 4m saltie, standing just steps from the water's edge.

The woman, who appeared unsteady on her feet, stood within striking distance of the croc, seemingly oblivious to her deadly predicament.

At least eight more crocs could be seen lurking in the water nearby.



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