Man snatches croc from river with bare hands
A bloke who grabbed a 1.5m freshwater crocodile with his bare hands out of a remote Territory river in his first attempt said he just wanted to see if the old mob's hunting skills were still there.
Nicholas Milyari Fitzpatrick said he caught the freshie that he estimated to be 1.5m (he 192cm) at Towns Crossing on the Savannah Way (aka Nathan River Rd) about 300km south of Roper Bar and towards Borroloola, about three weeks ago.
"We were just crossing through, doing our work going from community-to-community and I'm a hunter, I grew up out bush hunting and I'd hear a lot of stories about the freshwater crocodiles and how our people used to eat them," he said.
"I heard stories about how we used to just grab them.
"A lot of people in the Roper region, our mob out there, they still eat freshwater crocodiles.
Knowing it is was freshie. I wouldn't grab a saltwater crocodile, they're cheeky little things, they twitch back and grab you.
"When we came across the crossing, I went and grabbed him to see if the old hunting skills were still there.
"My nephew was filming. I just quickly jumped out of the car and gave him the iPad. I had it in my mind I wanted to grab it because of all the stories I heard.
"He (his nephew) was pretty impressed. He swears a bit in that video."
Mr Fitzpatrick said the croc was just sitting still on the river bed and they saw him as they were driving because the water was crystal clear.
"It was the first time (of him trying to grab a croc). I have grabbed a lot of goannas, well lots of reptiles and snakes," he said.
"I grab big pythons, I wouldn't touch those poisonous ones."
He said he didn't have a lot of nerves before he grabbed the freshie.
"Just keep focused, stay calm and be quick was what was going through my mind.
"And knowing it is was freshie. I wouldn't grab a saltwater crocodile, they're cheeky little things, they twitch back and grab you.
"I was pretty confident I was going to be quick enough.
"I just let him go, said goodbye and kept on driving. I want to try and eat one of them one day."
Mr Fitzpatrick grew up in Borroloola, and now drives around Aboriginal communities for Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network speaking to bush people about climate change.