A crocodile in Australia has eaten a small dog that had taunted it for a decade and was famous for chasing the eleven-foot reptile into the water.
To the horror of guests at a riverside lodge who had gathered to watch the spectacle, the saltwater crocodile did not scurry towards the water as the dog ran at its head.
Instead, as the dog’s owner, Kai Hansen, said, the crocodile "did what crocs do” and clenched the dog in its teeth before returning to the water.
Mr Hansen said he was “really sad” and had not watched the graphic footage of the incident, which was captured by onlookers.
But he said he did not blame the 220-pound crocodile for attacking his 15-pound dog.
“It was something that had a high probability of happening sometime,” Mr Hansen told ABC News.
"She’s not doing something wrong, she’s just doing what crocs do. In the early days she actually had a go at me a couple of times. These days I just throw food out from up the top and no-one is allowed to walk down there."
Mr Hansen runs the Goat Island Lodge, a ramshackle lodge on the crocodile-infested Adelaide River, south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Guests captured footage of the dog being eaten and could be heard gasping and yelling expletives.
A crocodile expert, Adam Britton, said the creature should not be destroyed for eating the dog and may not necessarily attack humans. He said crocodiles which attacked people effectively learnt how to target “large prey items”.
"The dog got right up close to the crocodile’s head," Mr Britton told ABC News.
"That basically triggers a reflex reaction, and a crocodile, if you get that close to its head, it doesn’t even think about it — it will just strike. If a crocodile attacks a person it’s a little bit different because … that can potentially lead to it getting [another] large prey item, to put it bluntly."
Mr Britton said the incident was a reminder to people to stay away from crocodile habitats, particularly if small dogs were present.
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