Footage of a saltwater crocodile climbing up a Northern Territory waterfall has shocked viewers on social media, dispelling a myth for many that crocodiles cannot climb.
Kim Phillips was fishing off a boat on the remote Roper River to the east of Katherine when she saw a 2.5-metre saltwater crocodile launch itself out of the water and attempt to climb a sheer bank.
“It was pretty amazing, I have never seen that before and I don’t think many people have,” Ms Phillips said.
“It was a pretty steep bank, he just lunged himself up and started climbing … he struggled in the end and slipped down.
“That’s when he decided to confront us and let us know that he didn’t want us there.
“He puffed himself up a bit and did a little hiss at us, he didn’t come across as very happy so we backed away from him and let him go.”
The vision was posted on Facebook, generating hundreds of comments from viewers about the usually unseen ability of crocodiles to climb.
Climbing crocodiles rarely witnessed
Crocodile expert professor Grahame Webb said it was known that crocodiles could climb but it was rarely observed.
“[Crocodiles] are more agile than people think, because they dig their hind feet in and they can negotiate some steep little areas if given the chance,” he said.
“They climb up banks all the time, that’s not a big climb he is trying unsuccessfully.”
For Katherine fisho Ms Phillips, witnessing a crocodile leap out of the water and try to scramble up a waterfall made her rethink where crocodiles could be found.
“I have always heard things like they won’t be at the rapids, but we have proven now that they can climb them, so I guess nowhere is safe really,” she said.
“I am hoping [the footage] has opened some eyes for people because I am wary of crocodiles as is.
“Wherever there is water there could be a croc.”