Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Teeth flashing and jaws wide open, a 12ft crocodile lunges at fisherman Novon Mashiah and comes crashing down on his boat, inches from its intended prey.

Mr Mashiah - who moments before had been posing for a photograph with the reptile as it approached - decides it was not the brightest of ideas and hits the outboard engine to escape.
Say cheese! The shocking moment a croc took a snap at a posing fisherman

Say cheese! The shocking moment a croc took a snap at a posing fisherman

The crocodile had swum towards the boat hoping to be fed fish. "I was shocked, the animal clearly wanted to kill me," said 27-year-old Mr Mashiah.

"One minute I was leaning over the boat teasing it for a picture. The next minute it burst out of the water with incredible speed.

"I jumped back and the croc landed on the boat and then slapped into the water. I was shaking."

Mr Mashiah's friend Doron Aviguy, 22, took the photograph from a bigger boat nearby. The two Israelis are working as fishermen on the South Alligator River in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Mr Mashiah said: "They come near the boat all the time, probably because we are fishing. I was laughing, but it wasn't funny in the end. I didn't realise that crocs were so aggressive."

While Mr Mashiah escaped without injury in the attack, he has received a savaging from people who read his story in their local paper.

"What the bloody hell did you expect, then?" asked one writer. "That the croc would jump up, put his arm around your neck and smile for the camera? What a fool you are."

"What an idiot," said another blogger, pointing out that crocs eat things - "especially stupid people who get too close for a happy snap for the holiday album. Play with fire - you will get burnt."

A writer called Darren commented: "What a dimwit. Considering you still have both hands, use one of them to slap yourself!"

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