Scar­face lacks chop­pers but still lives like a king

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

FROM PAGE 1

Scar­face was the fear­less, mer­ci­less an­tag­o­nist of the ’80s that loved his Mi­ami gang and his women even more.

His reign left a last­ing legacy that only one has been able to con­test, Scar­face 2.0.

He’s the ruth­less, tooth­less crocodile that rules 10km of the Dain­tree River with a fas­ci­nat­ing “tale” to tell.

Scar­face first ap­peared on the scene 10 years ago when Fat Al­bert was rul­ing the roost.

Bruce Belcher from Bruce Belcher’s Dain­tree River Cruises said he “can’t re­mem­ber a time when Scar­face ever had teeth”.

Four years af­ter the 4.5 me­tre croc made his de­but in the Dain­tree Fat Al­bert was shot by a lo­cal man and the King took his right­ful place.

The pro­mo­tion came with a 10 kilo­me­tre stretch of the Dain­tree, a harem of fe­males and all the ripe cat­tle car­casses his belly could fit.

The car­casses were a good sell­ing point for the tooth­less gi­ant who prefers his prey to be of a more pas­sive na­ture.

The croc plays to his strengths, us­ing his pow­er­ful head to rip open the ab­domen of his rot­ting prey and twist the in­testines out. While his feed­ing method may be un­ortho­dox it does the trick.

Mr Belcher sees the 500 kilo­gram croc most days and is fa­mil­iar with his eat­ing habits.

“The smell is atrocious but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Mr Bead­i­son lcher. “Each to their own, ev­ery­one needs to eat. “He’s liv­ing the dream.” Scar­face’s pro­mo­tion didn’t come with­out a catch. Other croc­o­diles have iden­ti­fied his patch as prime real es­tate and each of them want a chunk.

Th­ese male croc­o­diles are of­ten younger and more vir­ile with higher stamina. Ev­ery­day Scar­face de­fends his ter­ri­tory from th­ese young usurpers.

Which begs the ques­tion – how does he de­fend him­self with­out teeth, let alone de­fend an en­tire patch of land and a bevy of fe­males?

“If you learn any­thing from old age it’s how to bluff your way through any sit­u­a­tion,” said Mr Belcher. “And Scar­face is a master bluffer.”

So it seems Scar­face is all bark and lit­er­ally no bite.

But the 50-year-old king has a good 20 years left in him.

And with no retirement age for croc­o­diles, the tooth­less war­rior will keep bat­tling right up un­til he is de­throned.

He’s even struck up a friendly re­la­tion­ship with the tour boats that pass through his ter­ri­tory and like all great rulers he’s learnt the value of com­pro­mise. “We stay out of the wa­ter and he stays out of the boat.”

Al­though Mr Belcher says Scar­face is a ‘friendly’ fel­low, if you hap­pen to run into him re­mem­ber to never smile at a crocodile, es­pe­cially when he can’t smile back – it’s rude.

Scar­face Laf­ferty's Is­land

Pic­ture: G Briese

HOW ER­ROL SAVED SKIPPY This wal­laby some­how ended up in the mid­dle of the Dain­tree River. His luck turned when Moss­man man Er­rol Briese saw him in the mid­dle of the broad­wa­ter sec­tion of the river. He was able to reach in and res­cue the poor an­i­mal, putting it into his small tin­nie. It was ex­hausted. Er­rol took the wal­laby to the shore and it hopped away.

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