Robert Irwin Recalls Being Nearly Attacked by a 12-Foot Crocodile (Exclusive)

Steve Irwin's 18-year-old son was filming a segment for his family's show, 'Crikey! It's the Irwins.'

Robert Irwin had a close call with one overly eager crocodile during the season finale of his family's show, Crikey! It's the Irwins, which aired on Animal Planet and Discovery+ over the weekend. 

In a recent interview with ET, the 18-year-old son of Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin talked about being nearly attacked by Casper, the 12-foot crocodile while at his family's Australia Zoo, calling it an "almost died sort-of-thing" moment.

"We had a crock, a brand-new crocodile that was actually rescued by my dad and moved into a new enclosure. It was our first time doing a feeding and everything," he shared, adding that things quickly took a scary turn. "Long story short, it was the fist time I ever actually had to completely ditch the food run and jump over a fence while there was a croc right at my heels -- a massive, dominant male."

"It was definitely, definitely scary," Robert added. "I think it's one of those things when you're feeding a crocodile you'd be silly not to be nervous. For me, it's a really exciting adrenaline rush. For me, crocodiles have been my specialty and what I love to do is to work with these incredible animals because of my dad, he instilled that passion."

Clearly passionate about crocodiles like his late father, Robert added, "At Australia [Zoo], we work with crocs like nowhere else on the planet and we're able to get in there -- not just chuck a piece of food at them but really replicate their natural behavior. They get to jump out of the water, they get to hunting and striking like they would in the wild. It's great for them mentally and physically."

As for the scary moment, Robert noted, "You work with crocs close enough, you get to see just their change in body demeanor. ...At that moment, you'll notice a croc named Casper, he puts his head down and really plants his feet and starts fully running and it's one of those instances if you don't time it just right and get out of its way... It's such a hectic thing, but it's Dad's mission. It's awesome."

Robert also shared the moment from the show on his Instagram page. In the clip, he explains that Casper is going to be the new crocodile featured in the daily show at the Australia Zoo, and that they've recently moved him to a new habitat to test out that he's "settling in nicely." Robert then jumps into the enclosure to feed the animal. 

"That's going to entail someone jumping in with Casper, a crocodile in a brand-new environment having no idea how he's going to react. And today, that person is me," Robert says, laughing. 

But when Robert gets into the enclosure and attempts to give Casper his food, things don't go according to plan. 

Noting that he has "no idea" how Casper will react, Robert admits the scenario is "quite terrifying." 

At first, things are looking good, with Casper coming out of the water like they want him to. But when Casper ignores the food that Robert has provided and starts lurching toward the young animal activist instead, Robert begins shouting, "Bail, bail, bail!" as the team rush to get out of the enclosure. 

Robert described the incident in his Instagram caption as "one of the most intense croc feeds I've done."

"We prioritise natural behaviour with our crocs. By getting in their enclosures with them, and letting them put on those huge strikes from the water’s edge, they get to use all of their predatory instincts and they just love it!" he wrote. "Plus we can educate everyone about their conservation. But safety for us is also crucial and you definitely have to know when to call it. And with such a powerful and quick croc like Casper we had no choice but to bail!"

For more with the Irwin family, check out the video below.


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