SMH – THE GUIDE – MATT WRIGHT’S AFRICAN CROC ATTACK

By Brad Newsome

Nat Geo Wild, 8:30pm

This documentary, in which Australian croc catcher Matt Wright (Outback Wrangler) heads to the Congo to try to catch a maneater, turns out to be quite haunting for several reasons. Wright sets off for Africa at the behest of two American adventurers whose guide and close friend was taken by a crocodile during a kayaking expedition. The sudden, awful finality of the attack is captured in video footage shot by one of the Americans – paddling down the river he turns around to see their friend’s kayak floating empty behind them. The Americans aren’t out for revenge; they want to free a village from the curse of this particular crocodile which is believed to have killed eight other people in six years. As wright sets about constructing his traps, the village chief related the tragic background. Armies and refugees in Congo’s interminable civil wars killed most of the local wildlife, depriving crocodiles of their prey but supplying them with plenty of human corpses to eat. Whether or not this caused some crocodiles to develop a taste for human flesh, the story and the horrific archival footage will stay with you for a long time.

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