Johnny Bonde, 27, Alice Springs, NT
A ￼gleam in the water stopped me dead in my tracks. My girlfriend, Kirsty, 25, and I were walking home from a day out.
It was pitch black, but I was staring right into the eyes of a massive freshwater crocodile!
On the bank of Lake Kununurra in Western Australia’s far north, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After more than a year backpacking around Australia, this was my first crocodile sighting. I’d heard about a resident freshy who roamed this area.
‘I need to get closer!’ I told Kirsty.
A selfie with a croc! I thought.
Imagine what my mates back home in Denmark will say!
Straight up, Kirsty thought it was a bad idea.
‘I’m heading back to camp. Be careful,’ she warned.
I’ll be fine, I thought, sizing up the creature.
He must’ve been 2.5 metres long. But he looked very relaxed. Inching down the embankment though, my foot slipped. All of a sudden, I was on top of the beast!
Instantly, the croc seized my arm and was shaking me furiously. Understandably, the croc was very angry.
I would be too – I’d body slammed him!
In shock, all I felt was an intense burning sensation. After a scary few seconds, he let me go.
Scrambling towards the edge, I noticed several deep punctures in my arm. My first thought was Kirsty – she was going to be so angry at me!
Back at the caravan park, I inspected my wounds in the toilet. It was clear I needed to go to hospital.
Waking Kirsty, I warned her to stay calm.
‘Don’t panic, babe...’ I began.
Right away, she called an ambulance, and at the hospital I was patched up.
Looking back, I can’t believe how stupid I was. I don’t blame the crocodile one bit. It was all my fault.
I wanted the ultimate Aussie selfie. But I learned my lesson. Try to snap a croc, and they’ll snap you right back!
Originally published in that's life! Issue 50, 2016.