Video: 'Reckless' Man Filmed Sitting on Massive Live Saltwater Crocodile

Niels Jensen
Tourist Niels Jensen was filmed sitting on the back of a massive saltwater crocodile. He was criticized by wildlife authorities. Niels Jensen

Wildlife authorities in Australia have criticized a "reckless" Danish man after online footage showed him riding on a massive saltwater crocodile.

Niels Jensen, aged 22, was filmed while traveling through a wildlife park east of Darwin, in North Territory. In the clip, he is seen luring the the huge crocodile closer using a wallaby carcass. After the animal takes the bait, he squats down on its back, turns to the camera—and smiles.

His behavior was slammed by the region's Department of Tourism and Culture. Tracy Duldig, acting director of operations, told local media that tourists should be cautious around crocodiles.

"Saltwater crocodiles are large and potentially dangerous animals and we encourage everyone to be croc-wise at all times," Duldig said, reported "The behavior shown in this video is dangerous and reckless and we do not support this type of interaction with crocodiles."

The video was shared to social media channels and YouTube on September 24. Jensen—who claimed his friends have now dubbed him the "Danish Crocodile Dundee"—is reportedly traveling and working in the area after graduating from a wildlife management course.

"After seeing what a crocodile is capable of doing, I don't think it was dangerous, I know [it was]," Jensen told Caters News Agency. "Even with a crocodile like this that is used to humans, is it a scary feeling sitting on something that could kill you in a fraction of a second."

"I love being outdoors and seeing new species," he was quoted as saying by the agency. "When I got the chance to work with crocodiles I had to go. In my opinion I am just doing what I like."

But Duldig told authorities would now investigate whether the animal was wild or a pet—and the circumstances around the death of the wallaby used as bait. "This is a protected species and it is illegal to take or interfere with protected wildlife," she said. "Heavy penalties can apply. The Department…will investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident."

ABC also reported today that Jensen was recently been working as a hunting guide and had described himself as a "hunter and adventurer" on a social media profile.

According to National Geographic, saltwater crocs can reach 23 feet long and 2,200 pounds. They are Earth's largest living crocodiles and some believe "the animal most likely to eat a human."

The publication said: "Classic opportunistic predators, they lurk patiently beneath the surface near the water's edge, waiting for potential prey to stop for a sip of water. They'll feed on anything they can get their jaws on, including water buffalo, monkeys, wild boar, and even sharks.

"Without warning, they explode from the water with a thrash of their powerful tails, grasp their victim, and drag it back in, holding it under until the animal drowns," the description continued.