Animal Rights

Crocodile With Mouth Taped Shut Sparks Outrage (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty

An Australian crocodile wrangler's photo went viral and sparked mixed reactions from social media users.

Outback wrangler Matt Wright posted a photo of himself posing with a crocodile whose mouth and head were covered with duct tape, according to WGHP. The image, which racked up thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments and shares, was controversial among Facebook users.

"10 of me," wrote Wright in the image's caption, adding the hashtag #BigFella to the post of the massive reptile.

"Did you get enough tape on him?" asked one commenter. "Hope that's not staying on for too long poor boy."

Some criticized Wright for putting tape over the creature's jaws.

"I can't stand crocodiles, alligators, whatever you want to call them," said one user. "Yes, he is huge, but time to take the tape off and let him go."

"Leave the poor animal alone," wrote another.

"Am I the only one who disapproves?" asked another commenter. "Looks like a wild area and no real reason to wrangle it for trophy sake or relocation. Bet he killed it."

"There is no caption, info, or anything so I can only assume the worst," the user added.

Others came to Wright's defense, saying that the tape is the standard method for containing a croc.

"Having spent quite a bit of time in and around Kadaku 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," explained one user. "The tail is still a forcible weapon as are the claws. Large salties like this are highly territorial and can become problematic for locals."

An Imgur user also posted an explanation of taping a gator's mouth shut.

"For those of you getting upset over an alligator's snout being taped shut, let me remind you...

"The tape is OBVIOUSLY a temporary measure to secure the snout shut while in close proximity to an apex predator," the user wrote. "News flash, boys and girls - humans aren't predators, we're not at the top of the food chain, and in a fight between the two, an alligator or crocodile would rip a human to pieces. They're faster, they're stronger, and there is no way you will open its mouth if it's clamped onto something. Like your arm. Alligators and crocodiles aren't usually a threat to us, but when you're handling one for whatever reason... you secure it so that it can't harm you. And you do so in a way that doesn't harm the animal."

"And what would you recommend instead of taping? Bubba over there just holding the snout closed, hoping and praying the alligator or crocodile doesn't jerk his head to the side and wriggle free like they're known to do?" the user added. "Should you wrap a rope around the snout and risk rubbing the animal's skin raw? That's strongly advised against by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, by the way, since the whole point of securing the animal is to avoid injury to both it and humans."

Other commenters simply couldn't believe the animal's size.

"That's way bigger than your average bear!" wrote one commenter.

Sources: WGHP, Matt Wright/Facebook, BellaLuna/Imgur / Featured Image: Cath91800/Flickr / Embedded Images: Matt Wright/Facebook, Michael Shehan Obeysekera/Flickr

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