Books of etiquette and protocol offer no guidance on what to wear to a crocodile viewing. So who's to say that the young woman outfitted as the diabolical love child of Heidi and Morticia Addams was dressed inappropriately for our Adelaide River 'Jumping Croc' tour near Darwin?
The fitted black stretch shrug over the tight black lace top tucked into the low-rise denim crotch-hugger shorts held up by a cartridge belt fastened with a Beatles belt buckle was certainly striking. And perfectly matched with the the thick flaxen plaits just a little too platinum to be real – like the large petalled flower tucked into the Paris Hilton sunnies that completed her look.
If I'd had a fashion infringement notice I would've issued it on the spot.
Difficult though it was to fight my way through the flocks of young males surrounding her, I gave Pilchard every opportunity to capture this vision on film by standing next to her. BUT … Pilchard was one of the few males aboard actually photographing the crocodiles we'd come to see.
With so many 'Jumping Croc' tours, I don't recall the name of this one – well, it WAS almost 3 years ago – but their popularity underlines our fascination with this prehistoric predator. Although the ethics of pimping them to tourists in return for an easy feed is debatable ...
While not exclusive to OZ, Australia is arguably the crocodile's spiritual home – with the discovery of Isisfordia duncani, the 'mother of all crocodiles' near Isisford in Queensland. But in the flesh – actually the fossilised skeleton – what's believed to be the antecedent of all modern crocodilians is unremarkable.
Not so 'Krys', the Big Crocodile at Normanton, Queensland. Yes, this whopper – bigger than JAWS at 8.63 metres long (28' 4") – is often mistaken for one of Australia's notorious Big Things. But unlike other big things that are several times bigger than their real life counterparts, Krys is actually a life size replica of the largest crocodile ever 'taken' in the world.
No, that's NOT a tyre in the water ...
'Taken' is, of course, a euphemism for 'shot the crap out of' – because the female shooter (Krystina Pawlowski for whom the crocodile was named) had little choice for survival other than to shoot it. Still, you'd need a strong nerve and steady aim to stay alive if this prehistoric predator was heading your way!
Australia is home to only two species of the world's largest reptile with crocodylus porosus (also known as the saltwater crocodile or 'saltie') the most common - and dangerous! The warnings by almost every Northern OZ waterway aren't just there for decoration – and Crocodile Dundee won't be around to bail you out!
And something tells me a hungry crocodile won't give a damn what you're wearing!