Robert Irwin
Video Shows Enormous 13-Foot-Long Crocodile Captured Just 5 Miles From Australian City Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage

Robert Irwin had a bit of a close call with a hungry crocodile in the season finale of “Crikey! It’s the Irwins.” The intense encounter was captured in a 3-minute clip which the 18-year-old shared on his social media page over the weekend. The footage was a phenomenal close to the family show leaving viewers gripped in fear for the young croc enthusiast.

The scene was a pretty intense, one of the most raging experiences for Irwin. It started off with Irwin explaining how he was going to check on an old saltwater croc his late father Steve had acquired. The pale croc named Casper has been well-reputed to have a wild behavior since his father first took the reptile in. Casper, a 3.7m, 350 kg croc, was just recently moved, after having swapped enclosures with another big bad croc, Bosco.

Irwin narrates how the swap was one of the biggest and most challenging moves they have ever done in Australia Zoo. Bosco had become too territorial in his enclosure and had to be moved to a new one, while Casper will take his place for the mid-day croc show at the zoo.

But before Casper can be introduced to an audience, zoo staff had to make sure how the huge pale reptile was adjusting to his new environment. This would entail a personal visit from an appointed staff armed with plenty of fresh food. Irwin drew the lucky card for the daunting task and could be seen in the video discussing his approach with other croc experts and handlers.

Fearless as his father, Irwin took on the task despite the risks involved while carefully watching the croc move around his new dwelling space. Being a leucistic reptile, Casper’s pale skin and scutes made it difficult to spot him swimming about in the water. Although the young Irwin has had lots of training handling crocs over the years, he still showed some obvious nerves as he moved in closer to the water habitat.

“Since he was moved (into a new habitat), I’ve got no idea how he’s going to react, and honestly that’s quite terrifying,” Irwin confesses.

In the video, Irwin slowly approaches the croc pool coaxing Casper to come out while stomping his feet to send out vibrations of his presence. Fresh food in hand, Irwin eagerly and cautiously awaits the croc to pop out. Although he was expecting a dramatic lunge from Casper as he tosses his food over, it would seem he was not expecting the croc to chase him down.

In the final seconds of the clip, Irwin is seen tossing another chunk of meat at Casper as he scrambles to safety. “Bail, bail, bail,” he is heard saying in the background.

Reassuring his audience that he knew what he was doing, Irwin explained in his post how they prioritize natural behavior with the zoo crocs. This is done by getting up close and personal with them in their enclosures allowing them to get worked up and do huge strikes and lunges from the water’s edge. Irwin further explains this was the best way the reptiles get to practice their predatory instincts.

Robert Irwin
Robert Irwin celebrates his 17th birthday at the unveiling of the DIPROTODON statue at the Australia Zoo on December 1, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage

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