We’ve heard of some really random animal attacks. And we’ve also heard of some completely dumb instances where people were lethally attacked by animals in situations that totally could have been avoided. Still, it just seems like some folk never learn.
How else would you describe 22-year-old Danish man Niels Jensen, a guy who was filmed luring a huge saltwater crocodile towards him with a wallaby carcass, only to squat over the creature and sit on it once it took the bait as though he were riding it? And all for the sake of the camera.
Ironically, the incident was filmed at a wildlife park east of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory. Lucky for Jensen he won’t be headlining the Darwin Awards this year, although we still have a couple of months to go and as experts note, pretending to ride a crocodile isn’t exactly a great way to stay safe… or alive.
“Saltwater crocodiles are large and potentially dangerous animals and we encourage everyone to be croc-wise at all times,” Tracy Duldig, acting director of operations at the region’s Department of Tourism and Culture, told CairnsPost.com.au. “The behaviour shown in this video is dangerous and reckless and we do not support this type of interaction with crocodiles.”
According to National Geographic, “salties,” as some Australians refer to the creatures, can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh up to 2,200 pounds. They’re also the animal most likely to eat a human and have been known to wait patiently for their prey, which includes everything from water buffalo and monkeys to wild boar and sharks.
Yup, that’s right—Jensen was playing with a creature that would happily take on a shark.
It could be that Jensen feels a certain kinship with animals since he recently graduated from a wildlife management course and is travelling the Northern Territory, serving as a hunting guide. It’s hard to say whether the self-proclaimed “hunter and adventurer” will drum up or scare off business as a result of this stunt though.
“Even with a crocodile like this that is used to humans, it is a scary feeling sitting on something that could kill you in a fraction of a second,” Jensen told Caters News Agency. “In my opinion, I am just doing what I like, but not many people understand why I’m doing it.”
Jensen claims his friends are now calling him the “Danish Crocodile Dundee,” but that title could come with some severe penalties (other than death). Duldig told ABC authorities are investigating whether the crocodile was wild or a pet, along with how the wallaby that was used for bait died.
“This is a protected species and it is illegal to take or interfere with protected wildlife,” she said. “Heavy penalties can apply. The Department will investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.”
Let’s just file this one under “don’t try this at home, kids.”