Any grey nomad who thinks crocs are only out and about in remote areas of the country will have been given a very sharp reality check following an attack on a dog at Darwin’s popular Casuarina Beach.
And, incredibly, Banjo the Staffordshire bull terrier survived the way-too-close encounter with a two-metre-plus saltie.
Owner Tom Cummins told the ABC that he takes the five-year-old dog for a dip there every morning.
“The water was knee-deep. He just ran into the water to cool off. I heard a bit of a growl and looked around and a crocodile had him in its mouth,” the 78-year-old retired electrician said. “Banjo must have thought it was another dog, so he bit him back. He’s a very, very strong dog.”
Banjo now has three lacerations on his back.
Mr Cummins said the croc hung around about 10 metres from the water’s edge as the pair left.
“Waiting for his next victim,” Mr Cummins said. “Banjo probably jumped straight onto the crocodile … if he had been a poodle or the water was deeper that would have ended differently.”
The vet deemed Banjo’s wounds to be not too serious and he and did not require stitches.
As grey nomads who have spent time in Darwin will know, Casuarina Beach is a very popular place for swimmers, families, dogs, and water sports enthusiasts.
NT rangers and the crocodile management unit were unable to find the crocodile.
NT Wildlife ranger Ian Hunt told the ABC that he estimated the crocodile was just longer than two metres.
“Around this time of year with the temperatures warming up and the increased rainfall, we are finding crocs moving around a lot more,” Mr Hunt said. “It is the breeding season for the saltwater crocodiles and sometimes they can be a lot more aggressive and a bit more bold or brave, which might explain why this attack has happened on the beach this morning … crocs are very stealthy, they can lunge out of the water at very quick speeds.”