‘Outback Wrangler’ catches flack over handling of huge crocodile

Matt Wright, known as the “Outback Wrangler” who is host of a Nat Geo Wild program that goes by the same name, captured a huge crocodile in the Northern Territory of Australia for the purpose of relocating it, and then posed for a photo with the beast.

“Matt works closely with scientists, wildlife management authorities, indigenous elders (traditional land owners) and cattle station owners to ensure a win/win situation for both the animals at hand as well as the humans that need his help,” Wright’s Nat Geo Wild bio reads.

But the image of the crocodile, estimated to weigh up to 1,760 pounds and posted on Wright’s Facebook page, wasn’t a “win” in everybody’s eyes. Several commenters were quick to criticize him for the excessive use of duct tape and questioned whether it needed to be relocated in the first place, as reported by NT News and The Telegraph.

Duct tape is commonly used to keep the mouth shut on a crocodile or alligator that is being relocated, but as seen in the photo, lots of duct tape was used on this massive crocodile to keep its mouth shut and eyes covered.

“Did you get enough tape on him,” one commenter wrote. “Hope that’s not staying on for too long. Poor boy.”

Others wrote:

“How many rolls of duct tape?”

“10 rolls of duct tape…by the looks!”

“What happened to throwing a piece of cloth over its eyes first then the tape or just leaving it be?”

“Couldn’t help think that Steve Irwin wouldn’t have done it like that but can’t compare to such a man.”

“I look forward to an update showing us he was relocated, tape removed and this bone crushing Gator can live out his/her life.”

A post shared by Matt Wright (@mattwright1) on

Some were skeptical of the photo, believing it was Photoshopped, while many others defended Wright’s actions.

“Having spent quiet at bit of time in and around Kakadu the tape is used for 2 reasons, to protect the people relocating the croc and as it covers the eyes the croc is not stressed and kept calm,” another commenter wrote. “The tail is still a forcible weapons as are the claws. Large salties like this are highly territorial and can become problematic for the locals.”

“It’s a crocodile. They’ve been around since the dinosaurs. I’m sure he doesn’t mind a bit of tape on his snout.”

“Don’t need tape, just ask it nicely not to attack you and I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

None of the reports said whatever happened to the crocodile, thought to be 16-feet long, or where the “monster” was relocated. Presumably it was taken as far away from people as possible.

The Daily Mail Australia reported that at least two people in Australia have been killed in suspected crocodile attacks this year.

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