Crocodiles don’t come with warning stickers – they don’t really need them.
But if they did, it’s not unreasonable to imagine that they might say ‘don’t poke with a stick’.
One elderly crocodile farm owner in South Africa found out just what can happen when you do poke one of the prehistoric reptiles with a bit of wood – you put your toes, if not your life, in danger.
Peter Watson, who runs Crocodile Creek in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was lucky to survive after he used a stick to try and move a mother crocodile away from her eggs, which were about to hatch.
The 73-year-olds’ attempts to coax the three-metre-long animal to another part of her enclosure were caught on camera by Earth Touch News Network, who happened to be at the farm filming a documentary for National Geographic.
Their dramatic footage shows him prodding the huge croc – and the croc snapping angrily back at him.
Suddenly, the crocodile lunges forward and grabs his foot, sending Mr Watson tumbling to the ground and scrambling for his life.
Miraculously, he escaped relatively unscathed. He did lose a toe nail, though. He said: “It shook me like a flippin leaf.
It got a hold of my foot and started shaking me. I had already reasoned it would bite me again so I held out my arms.
I had to protect my stomach and my throat that could be fatal because it could tear my stomach out. I’m amazed my toe stayed on.
My wife is bloody annoyed, if you get bitten around here, you get no sympathy.”
Crocodile Creek is home to around 7,000 crocodiles and snakes.