‘Boofhead’ the crocodile eats shark on fisher’s line in north Queensland

When Dan Johnson first heard the commotion coming from the Proserpine riverbank in north Queensland, he thought he had just snagged a really good fish.

It wasn’t until he took a closer look that he realised he had hooked a shark, and local celebrity “Boofhead” – a four-metre crocodile – was coming for his catch.

“It was coming so fast,” Johnson said.

He whipped out his phone, planning to share the video with a couple of friends.

“He’s coming, he’s coming,” shouted the onlookers before Boofhead lunged forward and made a meal out of the small shark.

Johnson described it as a “powerful” display of “the circle of life”.

“We were so close,” Johnson said. “He’s a really dirty old croc and he has a deep gurgle that he does.”

The fishing spot is just six minutes from Johnson’s home and he says he often sees carloads of visitors from as far as “Brazil, Spain, London and Tasmania” trying to get a glimpse of the crocodile. But he said it was rare to get such a close look.

According to Johnson, the crocodile is named Boofhead by locals because “he’s got a wide, ugly head on him”.

“He’s just a little local sort of celebrity,” Johnson says.

He said fishers were often warned to watch out for him, as he is infamous for pinching bait out of crab pots.

Johnson’s wife, Ebony, 14-year-old daughter, Lily, and dog, Taddy, also got to witness the spectacle on Saturday afternoon. Lily is visiting from Melbourne for the school holidays and it was one of her first times seeing a crocodile.

“It is quite confronting for a child to see up close,” he said but added they would be eating meat that night and the only difference between what she saw and their dinner is “we won’t have to kill it”.

Johnson’s main message for people who encounter crocodiles in the wild is to admire from a distance: “Don’t feed or throw things at it or try [to] get its attention.

“It is crazy the power these things have, they are to be respected and admired.”

Leave a Reply