Had he been caught before losing a chunk of his leg, Michael Newman might have been charged with a highly unusual crime: riding a crocodile while intoxicated. But the Australian, who stumbled into a wildlife park after getting kicked out of a pub for drunkenness, was lucky he didn't get killed.
The BBC reports that Newman climbed over a fence in the town of Broome and sat atop a 16-foot saltwater crocodile named Fatso.
“Fatso has taken offense to this and has spun around and bit this man on the right leg," said Sergeant Roger Haynes.
If it had been a warmer day, the authorities would have been dealing with a fatality rather than a mere injury, said Malcolm Douglas, the owner of the park.
"The man who climbed the fence was fortunate because Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome.”
After climbing back out of the park and hobbling back to the pub with a bloody leg, Newman was reportedly allowed to have one more drink before being taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery on the bite wounds.
Saltwater crocodiles are responsible for an average of two deaths a year in Australia, where they are found in the wild and can grow up to 23 feet long.
The Western Australian media dubbed Newman “Crocodile Dumb-dee” for the escapade.