15,000 Crocodiles Escape

15,000 crocodiles escaped from the Rakwena Crocodile Farm in South Africa when the Limpopo River rose due to a stong storm:

Reportedly, 15,000 crocodiles escaped from an animal farm in South Africa Thursday. The animal escape took part during a period of heavy rain in the area. Ironically, sources say the owners actually are responsible for letting the crocodiles out.

15,000 crocodiles escape
15,000 crocodiles escape

According Fox News on Jan. 24, Rakwena Crocodile Farm owners had little choice when threats of rising waters from a storm surge forced them to open gates on the animal farm.

As the Limpopo River rose rapidly, the gates were open, which caused thousands of crocodiles to escape the animal enclosures.

Half have been re-captured. Where is Steve Irwin when you need him? (You may want to read of his daughter, Bindi Irwin, and her war with Hillary Clinton, of all people)

Matt Wright, Outback Wrangler, Tough Son-of-a-Gun

Matthew Wright has a show on the National Geographic channel called Outback Wrangler. And Matt’s billed as Australia’s answer to Bear Grylls:

Matt Wright’s aim is, wherever possible, to remove and relocate problem animals rather than kill them, any animal, anywhere, anytime.

Matt Wright, Outback Wrangler
Matt Wright, Outback Wrangler

Chopper pilot Luke Kingsley knows Wright from mustering days at Wrotham Park Station, in far north Queensland.

“He’s a good pilot, but a bit of a mad bastard,” Kingsley says. “He’s not afraid to have a go at anything.”

Wright’s the breed of bloke who sees nothing extraordinary in the ridiculously extraordinary – wrangling crocodiles, catching snakes or staring down a mad-as-hell bull.

Also Matt Wright from National Geographic's Outback Wrangler
Also Matt Wright from National Geographic’s Outback Wrangler

“Crocs? Nah, not worried about them. I’m more worried about (mechanical failure in) the chopper,” he says.

“I don’t see it as being dangerous. It’s not dangerous if you know what you’re doing.

Coming into work isn’t dangerous is it?”

Yet Wright could see the raw excitement on the faces of Wrotham Park guests when he took them on chopper joyrides, fishing, bull-catching or running brumbies.

“They just loved it,” he explains, with a hint of surprise. “They loved seeing the muster and the crocs, the impact of the wildlife and especially egg-collecting from the crocs.”

More Matt Wright and his mate, Outback Wrangler
More Matt Wright and his mate, Outback Wrangler

The phones went into meltdown, explains Wright’s agent, Nick Fordham.

They signed with a US production house, which billed Matt and sidekick Jimmy as modern-day, wildlife superheroes saving the children of Australia from marauding crocodiles and sharks who’d had a whiff of blood.

Despite its huge budget, that relationship was, perhaps not surprisingly, brief.

Nat Geo Wild stepped up, offering an authentic reflection of what Wright does and – with the support of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and production partner Freehand – Wright will be catapulted on to the world stage in spring.

A crocodile from Outback Wrangler
A crocodile from Outback Wrangler

The excitement – and brash marketing – in a statement by National Geographic Channel’s supremo, Geoff Daniels, is palpable.

He describes Wright as a “wild-world action hero”. “He’s like the Lone Ranger, riding in to save people and animals in distress but his horse is a helicopter and he uses a rope instead of a gun,” Daniels says.

“Matt Wright makes the dangerous business of doing good for wild animals exciting and cool.”

Matt Wright and a crocodile in sling.
Matt Wright and a crocodile in sling.

Certainly, when you consider the impact Aussies such as Steve Irwin, Jamie Durie and Curtis Stone have had on US audiences who warmed to their laid-back, egalitarian Aussie spirit, Nat Geo can probably sense the potential return in a personality such as Wright.

Please ignore the beefcake references at the link. I found them annoying, but you may like that sort of thing. If so, don’t ignore them. Revel in ’em. As for Matt Wright being Australia’s answer to Bear Grylls, I just don’t agree. Matt is a lot like Steve Irwin. Bear is more of a survivalist.

Dog Gives Birth to Cat?

I’m no Steve Irwin, but Jeong Pyong-bong, of North Korea, insists that his dog just gave birth to a kitten. I’ll let you decide; check out the little guy in the middle:

Jeong Pyong-bong’s cat in the middle

Here is what happened. A dog was giving birth and simultaneously a local cat was giving birth. And they put the kitty in a picture with the puppies. Pretty easy, huh?