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Arctic Bird Migrates to Australia for Season Only to be Eaten by Croc

This week, researchers conducting bird surveys on Pelican Island, located about 9 miles off the coast of Queensland, Australia, captured a rare yet brutal moment in nature: a crocodile emerging from the ocean to snatch a migratory bird. 

“We believe it is the first recorded meeting between an estuarine crocodile and a pomarine jaeger,” said Lee Hess, a senior ranger with Queensland’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, in a press release. “And unfortunately it was a long way to fly to end up like this.”

“Pomarine jaegers are an arctic, migratory bird and while it is not uncommon to see them in Australian waters or on coastal islands, there isn’t many recorded sightings on Great Barrier Reef islands,” Hess added. 

Video released by the agency shows the jaegers walking along the beach and the croc slowly walking out of the water, and as soon as one of the jaegers nears the croc, the croc grabs him and then retreats back into the ocean. 

Gavin Bassani, operations manager of the Lama Lama Rangers, said that he doesn’t think the bird knew it was supposed to be afraid of the croc.   

“I guess coming from the Artic region, crocodiles are not their usual threat,” Bassani said, adding that a number of migratory bird species fly to the far northern Great Barrier Reef region for the season. 

“It’s a shame this one traveled so far only to succumb to the dangers of Cape York,” Bassani said.

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