A family of tourists in northern Australia witnessed a classic ‘Jaws v Claws’ battle to the death when they came across an enormous saltwater crocodile wrestling with a bull shark in its jaws.
Last Tuesday, Andrew Paice, his partner, and their seven-year-old daughter, decided to take a wildlife cruise on the Adelaide river. They watched the crocodiles, including the huge 18-foot (5.5 meters) long male croc called Brutus, being fed buffalo meat at the end of long poles.
Paice and his family were in the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory the following day when he told AFP what had happened:
“It was on the way back to the jetty, we went past Brutus again, he was up on the bank. As we were going past, we noticed that there was a fin. We thought it was a barramundi (fish) or something. And the guide took the boat in for a closer look and lo’ and behold… it was a shark.”
Brutus is believed to be about 80 years old, and is missing a front leg and most of his teeth and is well known in the area. The Northern Territory News came out with headline that the battle was ‘Jaws v Claws,’ and concluded that Brutus had won.
Paice said that his daughter was “awestruck” by the experience. “So were the rest of the people including the guide; he had never seen it before either and he had been there for about 30 years. He was so excited.”
Paice said he wasn’t sure who had won the fight:
“When we went past the first time the croc was lying there with the shark in its mouth. When we pulled the boat in closer it slid back into the water. And when the shark, or the mouth of the croc, hit the water, the shark started to thrash around, so it was certainly still alive.
We couldn’t see any blood anywhere,. It may have got away; it may have got eaten — we don’t know. He didn’t put that display on for us unfortunately.”
Whether the mystery of who won will ever be solved is uncertain. Future tourists on the Adelaide river may solve it.