Drunken Australian Man Tries to Ride a Crocodile

No matter how sozzled you get, do not attempt to ride a crocodile named Fatso

  • Share
  • Read Later

Martin Harvey/CORBIS

Correction appended Nov. 20, 2012.

It’s a universally understood fact that when you’ve had too much to drink, you can make some pretty poor decisions. While many of us have put back a few too many at one time or another, most of us have the common sense — even while drunk — not to try to ride a crocodile.

At least one Australian man didn’t.

In a story from 2010 that recently started making the rounds online again, Michael Newman was tossed out of a local watering hole for being overly intoxicated, according to the BBC; but instead of having the sense to either go home or pass out or some combination of the two, he headed to the Broome Crocodile Park. There he proceeded to climb a fence into the crocodile enclosure and attempt to ride an 1,800-lb. (820 kg) crocodile named Fatso. Unsurprisingly, the croc was not happy with this turn of events, and he tore into Newman’s leg. Fortunately, the massive croc eventually let the 36-year-old tourist go, and Newman was able to crawl back over the fence and head straight back to the bar. Pub manager Mark Phillips told the BBC that Newman reappeared with “bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs.” Newman is now recuperating in the hospital, undoubtedly awaiting a good dressing-down from his mother.

(MORE: Woman Photographed Riding a Manatee Turns Herself In)

While his injuries are serious, Newman is lucky: cold-blooded crocodiles are generally sluggish in cool weather, which likely allowed the drunken trespasser to escape with only wounds to his leg. According to Malcolm Douglas, the park’s owner, Fatso is capable of crushing a man to death with a single bite. “If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality,” he told the BBC.

Due to an editors’ error, this article originally failed to indicate that the events in question occurred in 2010.  

MORE: 5 of the Most Endangered Species on the Planet

MORE: Double Ouch: Man Charged with Feeding Alligator That Bit Off His Hand


Here Croc Croc croc. Here Croc Croc croc. Here Croc Croc croc. Oh there you are mate. Looks like I'll be getin a little ride home with ya. Oh no cr. No crock. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP. 

Zoo keeper: Hay, anybody notice that Fatso is looking a bit over weight lately?


Let's get the obvious out of the way:  Time Magazine has no idea how to distinguish between objective news, and random drivel.

Now, for the even-more-obvious:  That drunkard was an idiot, and got what he deserved.  Case closed.

Dachman like.author.displayName 1 Like

Wow, great job Time. I heard we might be sending someone to the moon one day, you guys should do an article about that!


Walla-be-Wally! Well, you can right trek me up to the Northern Territories an' make me look all over for my damn "song" again. So...Either Crockodile Dundee does really exist as a folklore hero or they gotta lotta goodn' strong INTOX around there, ain't it right...now? 

JoshuaFrazer like.author.displayName 1 Like

This happened over two years ago and you're reporting it as if it happened now. The person quoted (Malcom Douglas) died a couple months after this (September 2010) and the park closed almost a year ago (Jan 2012). So Time just copied a story, did absolutely zero independent verification, and didn't even read the date.

pedanticisminoz like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Desperate for news, Time? The story's from 2010; the quoted Malcolm Douglas - famous Australian TV presenter and owner of that crocodile park - also died in that year.