Crocodile frying pan attack prompts safety advice amid Northern Territory tourism season

An outback pub owner’s feisty encounter with a crocodile — fighting it off with only a frying pan — has prompted warnings for tourists flocking to the Northern Territory this dry season.

Captured on video, the 3.5-metre croc is seen lunging at publican Kai Hansen at the Goat Island Lodge, about 70 kilometers south of Darwin on the Adelaide River.

Mr Hansen, a Territory bush character known as “King Kai”, then whacks the crocodile, Casey, on the head with a frying pan twice before it scampers away.

Despite his dance with death, the seasoned Territorian seemed unfazed, telling ABC Radio Darwin there was no bad blood between them.

Rangers are warning tourists to beware of what lurks beneath the surface. (Supplied: Charles Darwin University)

“Casey’s cute mate, she’s my favorite croc,” he said.

“She has a lovely smile.”

croc dangers no laughing matter

Home to more than 100,000 wild saltwater crocodiles, the risk of an unexpected croc attack is serious in the Northern Territory — and frying pans usually won’t help.

Ian Hunt, a crocodile ranger with the Northern Territory government, said tourists, as well as locals, must always remember they’re in “croc territory.”

“The number one thing I want to make clear to everybody who comes to the territory is that crocodiles can be in absolutely any waterway — saltwater or freshwater,” he said.

“There can be saltwater crocodiles in small creeks, little billabongs, small waterholes. They all can contain large crocodiles that can be a threat to life.”


‘You might be on the menu’

Saltwater crocodiles are bigger and far more dangerous than freshwater crocodiles, Mr Hunt said.

“Saltwater crocs are the largest crocodile species on the planet … and they’re a very actively aggressive crocodile,” he said.

“They hunt very large prey including buffalo, pigs, horses and obviously humans come into that category as well.

A crocodile lays on the bank of the river at Crocodylus Park.
Crocodiles are getting bigger on average every year in the NT.(ABC News: Michael Franchi )

For more information on staying alive in the waterways, visit the NT government’s Be CrocWise website.

Kai Hansen is the owner of Goat Island.
Mr Hansen with his dog Pippa in happy times.(ABC News: Nadia Daly)

Casey the croc an example of the risks

Mr Hansen said the frying pan was a “good weapon”, adding it’s not the first time he has used one to keep Casey at bay.

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