Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) camera operator Dane Hirst was flying a drone at Crocodylus Park as part of a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the ban on crocodile hunting in the Northern Territory. Hirst was finding it difficult to film steady and longer shots of the skittish reptiles in the lagoon, and it was just then when one particular crocodile began "eyeballing" the drone.
"I lined the drone up and moved over the top of him, and as I was doing that I looked up towards the lagoon and saw a crocodile vertical out of the water and heard the great clamping noise of a crocodile's jaws coming together," Hirst described the event. He then immediately looked at his drone controller to discover no connectivity.
Showing the damage to the drone, Hirst said: "This is the drone in question. The way we got this drone back was because the crocodile went and fished it out and luckily for me at the ABC we've got some very clever technicians. They managed to retrieve the footage."
The damaged drone was found by Crocodylus Park staff members on the bank of the lagoon two weeks later, and the memory card was recovered to tell the tale, ABC news reported.
The drone now hangs on a noticeboard in a staff room at ABC Darwin, and serves as a cautionary tale.