Let’s get this out of the way quickly: You should never, ever, jump on the back of a crocodile. Ever.
But, that seemingly common sense fact apparently didn't occur to at least one Danish tourist visiting Australia, who appeared on video climbing on top of a massive alligator at a wildlife park located just east of Darwin.
According to Australia’s News.com, the man in the video is 22-year-old Niels Jensen, who is a self-proclaimed “Danish Crocodile Dundee.” He’s pictured in the video feeding the animal a wallaby carcass, then repeatedly climbing on its back to ensure a good photo for his social media.
Perhaps worst of all, News.com noted, he’s a wildlife management graduate. As Jenson told Craters News Agency, he saw the moment as a thrill and understood well that it was a risk to jump on the animal.
“After seeing what a crocodile is capable of doing, I don’t think it was dangerous, I know (it was),” Jensen said. “Even with a crocodile like this that (is) used to humans, is it a scary feeling sitting on something that could kill you in a fraction of a second.”
According to Jensen, he had never seen a saltwater crocodile before this visit, which he made to complete his studies.
“I love being outdoors and seeing new species. When I got the chance to work with crocodiles I had to go,” he said, adding that it's his encounters with animals like this that has gained him the title of “Danish Crocodile Dundee.” “I don’t consider myself that, but a lot of my friends do. In my opinion, I am just doing what I like. But not many people understand why I’m doing it.”
The people who don’t understand why he’s doing it include the Department of Tourism and Culture, and its director of wildlife operations Tracey Duldig, who is now urging other tourists to treat these animals with respect.
“Saltwater crocodiles are large and potentially dangerous animals and we encourage everyone to be crocwise at all times,” she told News.com. “The behavior shown in this video is dangerous and reckless and we do not support this type of interaction with crocodiles.”
Additionally, Jenson’s use of a wallaby as bait may also get him in trouble.
“This is a protected species and it is illegal to take or interfere with protected wildlife,” Duldig noted to ABC. “Heavy penalties can apply ... The Department of Tourism and Culture will investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.”