Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Crazy about crocs

It's a long haul from Beechworth to Broome, but for outback adventurer, film-maker, crocodile farmer and conservationist, Malcolm Douglas, it has been the greatest trip of all.

By Steve Brooks

ImageAt around 195cm, or six- feet -five in the old measure, Malcolm Douglas stands out in a crowd. Yet the tall bearded bloke under the felt hat trimmed with croc teeth isn't just bin in the vertical sense.

His hands are like dinner plates and his feet like planks, and there's a scale of toughness as fence wire. Most of all though, there's a presence about Malcolm Douglas - one that few command, that can create as much open-mouthed aw and excitement in local and overseas tourists as the lethal salt water crocs behind a wire mesh fence just a few metres from their camera lens.

In fact, when Malcolm Douglas strolls among the ponds, pandanus and paperbark tress in the grounds of his world-famous crocodile farm at Broome, visitors appear to find as much fascination in the man as the monsters he captures, breeds and films.

ImageAutographs and family photos of "that's us with Malcolm Douglas" typify an effect that can appear to border on hero worship.

The image, for instance, of the towering adventurer edged on both sides by a family of European tourists may seem comical to some, but there's no doubting the seriousness of the sincerity of the respect afforded the big man by overseas visitors in particular.

However, it is perhaps not difficult to understand the touring public's fascination with Malcolm Douglas. After all, this is the man who for more than 30 years has not only brought some of the wildest and most extreme corners of Australia and occasionally New Guinea to living rooms in 47 countries, but has delivered a message of survival, conservation and understanding of the natural world that many have envied, some have copied, and few have equalled. Story end

Full story: Issue 14, December 2000/ January 2001

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