A family taking a trip around Australia’s Top End saw Brutus, Adelaide River’s most famous croc during the regular 11am cruise on Tuesday August 5. What they didn’t expect to see was Brutus chowing down on a shark.
The moment was captured by Andrew Paice, who was travelling with his wife Nikki Beaumont and their daughter Madison, 6.
“We’d fed Brutus on the bank earlier and were coming back past and we saw something in his mouth,” Paice said. “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.”
“The shark was still alive. Brutus took the shark back into the water and then started to shake it around a bit.”
“He then went back into the mangroves like he was protecting his prey. We couldn’t see any blood anywhere,” he said, noting that Brutus had only a few teeth left.
“It may have got away; it may have got eaten — we don’t know. He didn’t put that display on for us unfortunately.”
Cruise operator Morgan Bowman said he’d occasionally seen a shark fin in the water. “But we don’t see many,” he said.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one of our crocs catch a shark. It was amazing. It just shows for an old croc, Brutus is pretty quick,” said Bowman.
Brutus, the 5.5-metre croc has become an international sensation, one of the Top End’s biggest tourist drawcards.
Brutus, who is thought to be more than 80 years old, is also known for his missing front leg. The story goes that the limb was lost in a shark attack.
The cruise, on Fogg Dam Road, takes place on a section of the river about 80km inland. Rivers in the Territory are home to several species of shark, which travel hundreds of kilometres inland. The bull shark is the most common and is a voracious predator that can grow to over three metres in length.