By Richard Shears
Snap! This monster crocodile sent tourists rearing back as it soared out of the water in Australia to grab a chunk of meat offered on a stick by a ranger
This monster crocodile soared out of the water in northern Australia to grab a chunk of meat offered on a stick by a ranger.
Tourists on the boat, cruising along the Adelaide River near Darwin, reared back as the giant 80-year-old crocodile suddenly leaped up to grab the titbit.
Feeding the crocs is a daily tourist attraction but usually they're much smaller than this 18ft fellow, nicknamed Brutus by rangers who have been aware of his presence over the years.
The picture was taken by Katrina Bridgeford, a photographer with the Northern Territory News, who was on the cruise with sons Jordan, 14, and Dylan, 11.
She recalled that when Dylan saw the massive creature rise out of the water he had only two words to utter - 'Holy crap!'
Brutus is missing his front leg following what is believed to have been a confrontation with a shark in the river's estuary - leaving many people to wonder just how big the shark was.
'When it came up out of the water there were a lot of "Oos" and "Ahs",' said Miss Bridgeford.
'I wasn't expecting anything like this. I couldn't believe how close it got to us.
'If you had put your hand out you would have been able to touch it - if you'd dared.'
Jumping crocodile cruises are a major tourist attraction in the Northern Territory, where the Crocodile Dundee movies, starring Paul Hogan, were shot.
Thousands of the monsters live in waterways around the Darwin region, resulting in the local government erecting signs in tourist areas warning people not to swim or wash their vehicles in the water.
They are also told not to camp near rivers because crocodiles roam up to a mile inland.
Several people have been killed by the reptiles over the years.
Three people were taken by crocodiles in northern Australia in 2009 alone, including an 11-year-old girl who was playing with friends in the Black Jungle Swamp near Darwin.