You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Real-life ‘Mick Dundee’ confronts croc who almost took his hand

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 28/10/2017 Liz Little
Charles Wooley with a crocodile. © @9NewsAUS Twitter Charles Wooley with a crocodile.

In fiction and in reality the crocodile has generated some amazing Australian characters – the most famous Mick Dundee and Steve Irwin.

But there’s another we all should know about, and Charles Wooley introduces us to him this Sunday on 60 Minutes.

Rob Bredl – nicknamed the Barefoot Bushman – is a shoeless showman known overseas as a mad crocodile-riding Aussie.

He relies on the science of animal behaviour to ride on the backs of monster crocs, all the while insisting that playing with them is not as dangerous as it looks.

There’s only one problem – he almost lost his hand to one last year.

“I’ve met a lot of (crocodile enthusiasts) but I’ve never come across anyone quite like the Barefoot Bushman,” Wooley said.

“He’s pushing 70, but will he get there before the crocodile gets him?

“Watching him you might reasonably doubt he will ever get to be an old croc by sitting on one.

“And so do the insurance companies. They won’t insure him. And on recent form, you can hardly blame them.”

On September 22, 2016, while doing a feeding show for tourists at Bredls Wild Farm, Rob made a near fatal error with a monstrous 4.5m croc named Tripod.  

Rob’s leg and arm were bitten and he very nearly lost a hand.

The near fatal tug-of-war dislocated every bone in Rob’s wrist, however after undergoing 12 surgeries doctors were able to rebuild his hand.

“Rob spent a lot of time convincing me that the crocodile is a dangerous but absolutely predictable machine – so long as you know exactly what you’re doing,” Wooley said.

“So what went wrong?”

He tells Wooley it wasn’t an attack, but rather he did the wrong thing and had “a brain fart” which led to Tripod’s violent behaviour.

This Sunday, one year after the event, Rob returns to the scene of his near death experience with Wooley and the 60 Minutes crew to confront the monstrous predator that almost took his life.

“The crocodile is a product of 200 million years of evolution,” Wooley said.

“Modern humans like the Barefoot Bushman have been around for only 200,000 years.

“So joining him to confront the world’s most fearsome predator, I have more than a niggling feeling that I’m on the wrong side of natural history.

“In an evolutionary sense I’m only here doing this very foolhardy thing because my ancestors were a lot smarter than me and kept well away from that sound and from those awful jaws.”

‘Snappy Feet’ airs this Sunday on 60 Minutes after The Block finale. For more information, visit the Extra Minutes website.

More from 9News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon