Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Australian cowboy treed by crocs for a week

But survives. Crocodile Dundee would be proud:
Sydney - It took a week, but Australian cowboy Dave George got the better of the crocodiles that chased him up a tree in the remotest part of far-north Queensland. The 53-year-old rancher told Tuesday of how a lifetime in the Outback and the love of wife Liz and 18-year-old son Ziron helped him outwit the reptiles that laid siege to his gum tree for seven nights.
"All I could see was two sets of red eyes below me, and all night, I had to listen to a big bull croc bellowing a bit further out," George told national broadcaster ABC. "I'd yell out at them, 'I'm not falling out of this tree for you bastards.'"
His ordeal began when he lost consciousness after being bucked from his horse. Still groggy, he remounted and let the horse set a course for home. He woke up to find himself in the middle of a swamp that bore the tell-tale tracks of big saltwater crocodiles.
Leaving the horse to fend for itself, he camped in a tree for the next seven nights, scampering down during the day to scoop up water from the swamp. The horse made it safely back to the ranch.
"The second day I could see the choppers," the father of one said. "I knew they were there. I knew they were looking. I knew my family wouldn't give up so I knew I was right. I had my shirt tied on sticks, and I was flashing my tobacco tin lid and all that sort of stuff."
The cowboy from the town of Coen who survived on two sandwiches was given a chocolate bar by the helicopter pilot who winched him to safety. "It was like a gourmet meal," George said.
Liz George said Ziron had kept her spirits up by believing that his dad would survive. "There were some damn big crocs out there," she said. "There were some days when I was preparing myself for the worst, but my son would just say, 'He's not dead, he's still out there and we are going to get him.'"
Mark Reid, a ranger with the Parks and Wildlife Service, said it was a miracle that George survived, especially considering that they could smell the blood on him from his fall from the horse.
"They are an opportunistic predator," Reid said. "If breakfast, lunch or dinner presents itself in an easy accessible fashion, they'll usually exploit the situation."


Steve Bates said...

"It was like a gourmet meal,"

Did he mean... not much food, served in a setting guaranteed to unsettle the diner, and very, very expensive?

ellroon said...

I think it was heightened by the fact he'd just escaped being a gourmet meal himself...

In reality anything after 7 days in a tree would have tasted like the food of the gods....

Sorghum Crow said...

Some guys have all the luck...

ellroon said...

I don't know... being stuck in a tree for seven days surrounded by crocs would guarantee a lifetime of nightmares for me!

But it is better than being eaten!