Robert Irwin Was Nearly Attacked by 12-Foot Crocodile While Attempting to Feed It at Australia Zoo

The son of The Crocodile Hunter‘s Steve Irwin had quite a run-in with a giant croc himself!

Robert Irwin documented the conclusion of Crikey! It’s the Irwins on his Instagram over the weekend, in which he attended to the feeding of Casper, a 12.14-foot leucistic (or, predominantly white-skinned) saltwater crocodile at the Australia Zoo.

Irwin, 18, called the encounter “one of the most intense croc feeds I’ve done” in the caption of the video, which showed him attempting to coax the giant crocodile out of the water with a small carcass.

“We prioritise natural behaviour with our crocs. By getting in their enclosures with them, and letting them put on those huge strikes from the water’s edge, they get to use all of their predatory instincts and they just love it!” he continued.

“Plus we can educate everyone about their conservation. But safety for us is also crucial and you definitely have to know when to call it. And with such a powerful and quick croc like Casper we had no choice but to bail!”

In the clip, Irwin is seen getting into the enclosure with the crocodile, scaling the wall near the rectangular water pool in which the animal is submerged.

Irwin also explains in the clip that he and his team are attempting to prep Casper, the “wildest” crocodile at the zoo, to be “the new star of the midday croc show” at the Crocoseum, or Australia Zoo’s crocodile attraction.

Part of the “test” they performed to see if he was settling in nicely to his new role is to watch how he reacts to being fed, and whether he’ll show off his predatory instincts in a charge of sorts.

“Now we want to see a nice, big reaction from him,” Irwin says in the video. “That’s how we know he’s happy.”

robert irwin
robert irwin

And react Casper does — heaving out of the water and ignoring the bits of meat Irwin throws at him.

As Irwin is heard repeatedly screaming “bail” and seen running away, the crocodile lunges toward him at the conclusion of the clip.

While Irwin’s father Steve was known for his hair-raising encounters with several animals including crocodiles, it was a stingray that killed him.

On Sept. 4, 2006, the beloved wildlife expert was working on the documentary series Ocean’s Deadliest when he was attacked by a stingray off the coast of northern Australia and died at the age of 44.

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