- Photo Gallery
The door on the trap was down so we knew the
had gone off.
Brian and I swam out with
goggles to check the crocodile. We instantly
realized he was larger than the 10ft. We initially
to be. He was sitting in the
trap quite relaxed and unconcerned.
was the time we could see so clearly
underwater, that he had
been shot through the eye.
Happy that the crocodile was relatively relaxed
in the trap, Brian
and I pulled it to the
only section of pebble/rock strewn beach
that we could safely restrain the crocodile.
I used bamboo poles to secure the top jaw
ropes on the crocodile
while Brian opened
and very, very quickly shut the sliding door
of the trap.
Once I was happy with the top jaw ropes,
Brian opened the door and
we dragged the
crocodile onto the beach. Despite being angry,
and snapping, he never really attacked us.
Once he was clear of the trap on the beach,
I jumped on his head
and neck, then Brian
immediately jumped on both of us
down. Our combined weight held
him down and he hardly struggled.
I quickly secured a blindfold whilst Brian held
the powerful tail
and back legs. Then I was
able to secure his jaws so he couldn't
Because we had to get this crocodile into a
small aircraft to be
relocated, we couldn't
put him into the standard crocodile crate.
So I designed a sock out of blue, soft, trawler
mesh that could
stop him from walking,
yet allow movement and be very soft
skin. It's one of the simplest, yet cleverest
things I've ever designed
and sewed up.
Now that he's basically unable to bite or walk off,
I was able to
conduct surgery on his eye. He
has been shot under his eyelid -
through his jaw, taking ¾ of his eye with
leaving to catch the crocodile, Wes (Australia Zoo's
director) phoned Scott Stahl, one of the best
surgeons in the world and got me
all the equipment, medicine and
I needed to conduct surgery on the beach.
He was the perfect
patient, Brian held him down
whilst I assessed the wound and worked
best possible procedure.
I couldn't find the bullet, his eye was blown to pieces
he had a huge cut, like a
second eye-slit, jaw damage and it was
all quite inflamed. So I very carefully flushed
his eye socket,
then fully injected it with
As an added bonus, I prepared a long term
to ensure he
fully recovered. I
estimated the wound to be approximately 2
old and he was already showing signs
Brian positioned himself in case the crocodile
retaliated to my
giving him the injection,
but he remained the perfect, quiet patient.
He also had a bullet wound in his front leg.
The bullet had passed
through and the
injury was healing nicely, so I decided to leave
To make the aircraft pilots more
comfortable and restrict our big
crocodile from smashing the plane to
we stitched him into
designed, heavy duty, rip proof, tarpaulin.
us to bend the big old croc
around the plane's door to get him in.
We had to take out 4 seats then carefully
slide him up into the
goodness he was really well behaved
on the flight,
because any thrashing
around would have been a little
hard on the
Vanuatu is made up of 80 islands, stretching
over 1,000 kms. From
North to South. Some of
these islands are active volcanoes. The
Saltwater Crocodiles' Eastern most point of
their range is supposedly
the Northern island
of Vanua Lava, which is the closest to the Solomon
Islands, which also has a population of crocodiles.
The entire Vanuatu Crocodile Rescue could not
have been possible
without the help of these
two heroes. Roy Hills, from the Vanuatu
Areas Institute and Russell Nari from the
Unit. Not only were
they absolutely fantastic in coordinating
logistics on the ground, they were really,
really, nice blokes.
In essence, the crocodile
owes it's life to these two men.
On arrival at Vanua Lava, the release site for the
received a very high honour and
the most beautiful ceremonial greeting.
This traditional ceremony involved
receiving a wreath of flowers.
With the ceremony over, we had to carry
the crocodile from the grass
down to an awaiting boat.
Brian and I located a great release
site on the Selva River, with
very deep, dark, dirty water
plenty of foliage hanging
waters edge. After flattening out
a clear area to work,
the tarpaulins and cut the drawstrings
of the net croc
Immediately feeling the drawstrings released,
the crocodile exploded
violently towards the
water, which he could obviously smell. He
virtually dragged me and Brian in with him.
We struggled into the
boat as quickly as possible.
Even though he dragged us I never let
the top jaw rope.
From the boat we were able to gain
the upper hand. Brian held the
top jaw ropes whilst the crocodile
death-rolled repeatedly. I had
to watch and wait to get my knife
in to cut the blindfold and ropes.
He twisted so violently with
death-rolls that the tarps and
were one big knot. I
readied myself for the
opportunity to cut the
She could feel freedom and hit
the side of the wooden boat
as I readied my knife.
Freedom, the remaining ropes simply
floated off on contact with
Our mission wasn't over. We take great pride
in covering every aspect
of crocodile education.
I conducted a crocodile program based on
community being the only ones in the whole
of Vanuatu with
crocodiles within their province.
Roy, myself, Russell and the Vanua Rescue plane
- "Crikey" we were happy that our mission went perfectly.
This is an aerial shot of the Selva River release site.
Vanuatu has another endangered species in
my opinion and that is
crustaceans known as Coconut Crabs.
for these land crabs, they
are very tasty and people are
eating them into extinction.
believe if you truly love, like, cherish
or value an animal, refuse
to eat it and
tell others why you'll never eat it.
My press conference was the perfect
end to an incredible rescue.
Copyright & Disclaimer