JABIRU, Australia -- A saltwater crocodile has launched itself at a vehicle in Kakadu National Park, sparking an unusual warning from rangers.
Croc expert Garry Lindner said the episode – on the Kakadu Highway near Jabiru last week – followed a swag of reports from motorists confronted by crocodiles on the roads of the world heritage listed park.
The 2m saltwater crocodile emerged from a culvert drain, and leapt into the path of a four-wheel-drive vehicle driven by a local scientist travelling with traditional owners.
"The croc just launched itself into the air with all four feet off the ground," Mr Lindner said.
"The driver had no time to react and unfortunately the animal died on impact."
Also last week, a driver had to swerve to avoid a 3m crocodile on the Arnhem Highway, he said.
Mr Lindner said crocodiles were on the move during the territory's wet season and visitors to Kakadu should be careful when driving on the roads, especially near waterways.
"Always expect that a crocodile may be in the area," he said.
"Some crocs move into well known culvert fishing locations and remain there for the duration of the wet season.
"They are attracted – just like fishermen – to the fish."
Two people have died from crocodile attacks in Kakadu in the past 28 years.
German backpacker Isobel von Jordan, 23, was mauled by a 4.2m, 400kg saltwater crocodile while on a tour of Kakadu National Park in 2002.
And fisherman Kerry McLoughlin was decapitated by a 4m crocodile at Cahills Crossing in 1987.
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