Swimming sign at Elsey National Park, Northern Territory
“Hey guys! The swimming hole’s open – but I’ll go in first and check for crocodiles,” said no one ever after reading this sign in the Northern Territory’s Elsey National Park.
Looks inviting, doesn’t it?! BUT …
It’s a relief to learn that despite other signs in the park indicating crocodiles ARE present, the ‘reduced risk’ in the ‘crocodile management zone’ means this swimming hole on the Roper River is OPEN!
But there’s a subtle distinction between ‘low risk’ and ‘no risk’.
And if it’s SO safe to swim in the waterhole, why is there a contact number for sightings?
No crocodile hiding places here, right?!
But what am I saying! Government organisation risk management practices are so sound and reliable, there’s no question of accepting them.
But conducting a check for one of the most cunning and dangerous predators on earth might take more than a quick look for the most common signs. Slide marks on the banks? No! Odd bumps that could be eyes, nostrils or tails in the water? No! Suspicious looking logs? No!
Of course there’s no way of knowing whether any of the vegetation or rocks in and around the water may be harbouring a crocodile, or even whether your preliminary check was successful unless you go in the water. But if you DO see a crocodile, at least you’ll have the consolation of knowing it’ll be removed!
SO … who’s going to be the guinea pig in first?!?!
AAAARRRGH! Is that a CROCODILE in the water??**
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**Please note: this crocodile was NOT photographed in the Roper River at Elsey National Park! It was, however, photographed in the Northern Territory!!