The saltwater crocodile, called Elvis, has charged at two workers at the Australian Reptile Park at Gosford after they went into its enclosure.
The beast simply was irritated with a noisy lawnmower invaded his space, so he stole it, forcing operations manager Tim Faulkner and keeper Billy Collett to make a daring rescue, reports BBC.
Pulling it under water, the reptile “drowned” the machine at the park near Sydney. “Before we knew it, the croc had the mower above his head,” Tim Faulkner said. “He got his jaws around the top of the mower and picked it up and took it underwater with him.”
He then sat and guarded his prey for more than an hour in his enclosure. ”Once he got it, he just sat there and guarded it,” said Faulkner. ”It was his prize, his trophy. If it moved, then he would attack it again.”
But Elvis, who is one of the largest crocodiles in New South Wales, is also ”a big territorial male” who likes his meat. Mr. Faulkner added that such was fairly typical for a crocodile.
“Elvis is sitting at the bottom of the lagoon with the lawnmower next to him. He’s guarding it,” said park representative Libby Bain before the rescue, revealed the Herold Sun.
“Obviously we have to go in and retrieve the mower. It’s not something we think he would eat but it’s encroaching on his territory and he believes it is his.”
While the keeper was trying to lure the beast to the other end of the enclosure, offering of kangaroo meat, Mr Faulkner jumped in, got out the badly chewed up mower and two teeth that Elvis had lost in the process.
”He has extraordinarily large teeth – much bigger than most crocodiles,” added Faulkner. ”He punched his teeth through the top casing of the mower.”
Mr Faulkner said finding crocodileâ€™s tooth was critical. “They clog up the filter systems”. And he added: “They’re a nice souvenir.”
As the Telegraph says, it is not the first time the 16-foot croc has shown his cranky behaviour: he has occasionally lunged at staff before. However, he has never stolen anything before from one of the workers.
Elvis was initially captured in the northern Australian city of Darwin, where he attacked fishing boats. After that he was moved to a crocodile farm, where he proceeded to kill his two crocodile girlfriends.
”He is so full of testosterone that he views everything as a threat,” explained Faulkner. ”Even potential mates.”
As for Mr Faulkner, went on working as if nothing had happened. ”I’ve handled a lot of animals,” the manager said. ”There is a moment when your breath is gone and your adrenalin rushes in.”
But, he added, there is difference between a crocodile getting a mower and getting a human. ”That has never happened. We treat the crocodiles with a lot of respect,” he said.
Â In 2008, he moved to the reptile park, where he has enjoyed solitary confinement in his own enclosure.Â “When they are the dominant croc, they’re just full of testosterone,” Faulkner said. “He’s got his beautiful own yard, he wants to be a solitary creature. He’s happy.”
Â Despite losing his prey, Elvis was absolutely pleased with himself, Faulkner told reporters.Â “He’s beaten us today … he’s kingpin,” Faulkner said. “He’s going to be walking around with his chest puffed out all day.”