Tourists cruising along the Adelaide River in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia were left stunned after watching an epic battle between an 18-foot saltwater crocodile named Brutus and a bull shark. Brutus, believed to be around 80 years old is missing a front leg and most of his teeth, is well known in the area.
Although The Northern Territory News reported that the massive reptile seemed to have won the so-called “Jaws vs Claws” battle, eyewitnesses including Andrew Paice, who was on the hour-long boat trip with his partner and seven-year-old daughter, Tuesday said they saw the shark still thrashing about as they passed the struggling pair for the second time.
"When we went past the first time the croc was lying there with the shark in its mouth," he said. "Then when we moved in closer it slid back into the water, and began to thrash around, "So it was certainly still alive. We couldn't see any blood anywhere, so it may have gotten away.”
Saltwater crocodile (aka saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodiles) are not only the largest living reptiles on the planet, they are also the biggest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world. Although most range about 14’-17’ long and weigh about 880-2,200 lbs, larger males such as Brutus have been reported. Females, however, rarely grow longer than 10-feet. In addition to northern Australia saltwater crocs are found throughout southeast Asia, as well as along the eastern coast of India, although they are also found as far east as Japan and as far west as Africa’s eastern coastline. While they can live in salt water, the crocodiles generally prefer to lurk in lower stretches of rivers as well as in mangrove swamps, estuaries, deltas, and lagoons.
Bull sharks, however, are commonly found in warm waters along the coast worldwide, as well as in lakes and rivers from Massachusetts to southern Brazil, from Morrocco to Angola, and throughout the Indian Ocean from Africa to Vietnam and Australia, where it is estimated that at least 500 of these predatory fish reside in the Brisbane River, as well as in the Adelaide River mentioned above.