When Matt Wright, aka Nat Geo Wild’s “Outback Wrangler,” posted a photo to Facebook of the incredible 16-foot long crocodile that he managed to safely catch so it could be relocated far away from humans and livestock, I’m sure that the last thing he expected was a flurry of unhappy comments about how duct tape was used to keep the giant reptile’s jaws secured.
At least two Australians have been killed by saltwater crocodiles already this year, and if this 1,760-pound animal was anywhere near civilization, it only made sense to relocate it. Besides, moving this colossal crocodile far from humanity also greatly decreases the chances that someone shoots it out of concern, or to collect a lifetime supply of boot leather.
You’d think that most people would understand that the silver-colored duct tape wrapped around the crocodile’s head was to keep its eyes and mouth shut so the animal would remain calm, and to ensure that the rescue team didn’t get chomped in the process, but that didn’t stop people from leaving notes such as:
“Did you get enough tape on him? Hope that’s not staying on for too long poor boy.”
“Put The Boy Back In The Water Where They Belong. That His Home.”
“Am I the only one who disapproves? Looks like a wild area and no reason to wrangle it for trophy sake or relocation. Bet he killed it. There is no caption, info, or anything so I can only assume the worst,”
“What happened to throwing a piece of cloth over its eyes first then the tape or just leaving it be?”
“How many rolls of duct tape?”
“10 rolls of duct tape…by the looks!”
For anyone worried about how this behemoth was treated, the Outback Wrangler himself addressed the concerns surrounding the use of duct tape for this rescue mission:
Thanks for all your comments and concerns. In order to keep the stress levels of a croc down when we are relocating it, it is necessary to place hessian and duct tape over the crocs eyes and key sensory glands on its head so it remains calm and minimises the build up of lactic acid. The croc’s survival and safety are priority during relocations which ensure the protection of these beautiful animals so they aren’t harmed or destroyed.
See? The dinosaur is likely getting used to its new lagoon and is probably hard at work taste-testing the local marsupial population by now. I can’t believe that anyone would think that a conservationist who stars in his own television series about rescuing animals would post a photo of himself harming animals on Facebook. You’re better than this, Internet.