TAKE that, Jaws.
This large bull shark might have thought it was safe to go back in the water. But he didn’t count on Brutus, Adelaide River’s most famous and fearsome resident, who showed the shark who was the true king of the waterway.
The 5.5-metre croc has become an international sensation, one of the Top End’s biggest tourist drawcards and a frequent star of the NT News.
Brutus, who is thought to be more than 80 years old, is also known for his missing front leg. The story goes that the limb was lost in a shark attack.
Yesterday, in front of about 25 passengers on the regular 11am cruise, Brutus took his revenge. The moment was captured by Sydneysider Andrew Paice, who is travelling around Australia with his wife Nikki Beaumont and their daughter Madison, 6.
“We’d fed Brutus on the bank earlier and were coming back past and we saw something in his mouth,” Mr Paice said.
“The shark was still alive. Brutus took the shark back into the water and then started to shake it around a bit.
“He then went back into the mangroves like he was protecting his prey.”
The family was delighted just to see the jumping crocs on the cruise, but had no idea that sharks were also lurking in the river.
Cruise operator Morgan Bowman said he’d occasionally spot a shark fin in the water.
“But we don’t see many,” he said.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one of our crocs catch a shark. It was amazing.
“It just shows for an old croc, Brutus is pretty quick.”
Brutus has graced the front page of the NT News several times during his reign as the undisputed king of the Adelaide River.
Mr Bowman didn’t think the elderly reptile could top some of those classic stories.
“We’ve got all these other crocs, nothing ever seems to happen to them,” he said.
“He’s definitely got a bit of a reputation.”
Cruise passengers had reported seeing the shark, about 1.5 metres long, in the river in recent days.
But it didn’t last long. Brutus, who usually feasts on buffalo meat, quickly added some fish to his diet.
The cruise, on Fogg Dam Road, takes place on a section of the river about 80km inland.
Rivers in the Territory are home to several species of shark, which travel hundreds of kilometres inland. The bull shark is the most common and is a voracious predator that can grow to over three metres in length.
Mr Paice said his family had been travelling for four months, but the spectacle on the Adelaide River was a highlight.