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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Aussie chainsaw croc runs amok
Saltwater crocodile
Saltwater crocs are known to attack boats with outboard motors
A crocodile in northern Australia has chased a storm-clearance worker up a tree and made off with his chainsaw.

The 4.4m (14.5ft) saltwater crocodile called Brutus apparently took exception to the noise of the saw.

The worker was clearing a tree that fell on the crocodile enclosure at the Corroboree Park Tavern, 80km (50 miles) east of the northern city of Darwin.

Brutus chewed on the chainsaw for 90 minutes, reducing it to pieces. Neither man nor beast was injured.

Northern Australia has an estimated 100,000 saltwater crocodiles.

Et chew Brutus

Worker Freddy Buckland was cutting a tree that had fallen as a result of a recent tropical cyclone.

Peter Shappert, the tavern's owner, said the crocodile jumped from the water and sped 20ft to the tree.

"It must have been the noise... I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him... I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw," he told the Associated Press news agency.

Tavern co-owner Linda Francis said: "Fred virtually gave him the chainsaw, shoved it at him.

"It was still going and he took the chainsaw onto the ground and proceeded to smash it and it stalled. The crocodile didn't cut himself, just broke a few teeth."

Mr Shappert said the saw was destroyed.

"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out."

Saltwater crocodiles are known to attack small boats, apparently disturbed by the sound of outboard motors.

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