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From helicopter tours to Bonecrusher the deadly croc: Meet Matt Wright Australia’s Outback Wrangler


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Matt Wright is Australia’s Monster Croc Wrangler, who wrestles with deadly reptiles deep in the Northern Territory outback.

He regularly risks life and limb capturing and relocating problem crocs, sometimes being chased off crocodile nests by ‘small’ 12-footers while collecting their eggs.

This is normal for Matt, with his 240K Instagram followers bearing witness to his exploits, including a live broadcasted swipe on Sunday from ‘Otis’, a 15-foot long monster he has known for years.

Matt knows ‘ten or twelve’ crocodiles by name but  despite his intimate relationship with beasts named ‘Tripod’ and ‘Bonecruncher’, Matt knows that one wrong move and they will ‘eat you in a heart beat’.

‘What you saw on Sunday, that happens every day,’ Matt told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘We’re never short of content, every day is different and exciting.’ 

 Matt Wright is Australia’s Monster Croc Wrangler, who has been trawling the Australian outback for the apex predators for 20 years

Matt is a wildlife relocator who chases animals throughout the NT, from the Tiwi Islands to the Victoria River, with air-boats and helicopters at his disposal to find monster crocodiles up to 18 foot long.  

He has been trawling through swamps in the outback for the best part of 20 years, and his knowledge of the landscape and local wildlife is second to none.

‘The crocs live in big waterways and I know them like the back of my hand,’ Matt said. 

‘I’ve nearly known every bl***y croc that lives in them. Sometimes I’ll see a new big one that I haven’t seen.’ 

Matt’s comfort among the reptiles is unrivaled, having calmly danced between 50-60 crocodiles just moments earlier, including being surprised out of the mud by an aggressive salty. 

Matt's team in the wild consists of a small group of mates who share the same passion for wildlife and adventure, and love being in remote zones helping relocate problem crocodiles

Matt’s team in the wild consists of a small group of mates who share the same passion for wildlife and adventure, and love being in remote zones helping relocate problem crocodiles

Matt Wright and his wife Kaia (pictured) are now parents to their three-month old son Banjo

Matt Wright and his wife Kaia (pictured) are now parents to their three-month old son Banjo

His actions look completely fearless and sometimes reckless, but Matt insisted that he knows the limits and the dangers of the beasts he gets close with. 

‘There is a certain point, the animals react to certain pressure points, and you need to know them for their reaction,’ he said. 

‘You can be around them all day but you’ve got to know your limit.’

‘I’ve got plenty of buffer, it might look close, but I’ve got a comfortable buffer. They’re not snapping at my shirt so I’m not too close.’

‘If I become uncomfortable or in a dangerous zone, I’ll back up and recheck myself.’ 

Matt has had cameras following him through the outback filming the fourth season of his TV series ‘Monster Croc Wrangler,’ but said he won’t chase glory or put himself in danger to wow his audience, knowing one wrong move can be fatal.

He knows the consequences well, having been swept off his feet by a croc, suffering a broken ankle, and been backed into a corner by aggressive crocs on the Northern Territory’s Daly River, but casually said it ‘keeps it interesting’ and ‘makes you sweat a little bit.’

Matt and his team are equipped to travel over land, air and water to find crocs, with boats, helicopters, buggies and trawlers at their disposal

Matt and his team are equipped to travel over land, air and water to find crocs, with boats, helicopters, buggies and trawlers at their disposal

‘We train, we don’t take risks. If you know what you’re doing you’re not taking risks.’

Matt is a new father to three-month-old son Banjo with his wife Kaia, and knows the dangers he is constantly facing, but said it won’t slow him down and wants to bring them on board.

‘I might need to get a bigger chopper to cart everyone around in it,’ he said.  

From planting crocodile traps on densely populated crocodile nests at night, to diving in swamps hunting for prehistoric beasts, Matt’s work puts him in some precarious situations, but his relocation work saving livestock and other animals makes it all worthwhile.

‘The more you work with wildlife, the more comfortable you become, but you never push danger for the camera,’ he said.

‘You must always have respect for the animal.’

Matt has found crocodiles reaching 18 foot long in his travels through the Australian outback

Matt has found crocodiles reaching 18 foot long in his travels through the Australian outback

Matt was raised on the outback plains of South Australia, and his passion for wildlife and the outdoors started at a young age, where he would catch some of Australia’s deadliest snakes and bring them home to show his family.

‘When I was really young I would find snakes, browns, taipans, and bring them home to show Mum,’ he laughed.

‘Anything that ran or crawled I was into it. I just had a massive fascination with wildlife.’

His fascination led him to chase bigger animals, from horses to camels and crocodiles, and onto overseas adventures studying big cats and rhinos.

Matt was a soldier in the Australian Army, before he got his helicopter pilot licence, and now along with his TV show runs award winning tours throughout Australia’s top end, including helicopter pub tours, air-boat fishing adventures and hosting guests on the tropical paradise of the Tiwi Island Retreat.

Matt and his partner run multiple tourism businesses in the top end, with guests able to see some of Australia's most raw predators in the wild

Matt and his partner run multiple tourism businesses in the top end, with guests able to see some of Australia’s most raw predators in the wild

Guests on Matt’s tours find themselves up close and personal with incredible outback creatures in their local habitat, with Matt toying with the idea of hoisting crocodiles onto his 12 meter catamaran to securely transport them into safer waters.

Matt’s production crew is small, only consisting of a few mates, but their equipment range is huge, with the team organised to go mobile over land, air and water to find their animals.

While showcasing the incredible native animals in Australia’s fauna, Matt hopes ‘Monster Croc Wrangler’ will educate the public about our outback predators, and shine a light on the spectacular landscapes in the top end.

‘The general consensus is that crocodiles are these mean killing machines, but that’s not the case,’ Matt said. 

‘We keep the balance and try and find these crocs a new home and educate people about these apex predators as they have their place in our environment.’

‘The little bit I know about wildlife can definitely help other people.’

Monster Croc Wrangler will premier on Channel 9 at 8.40pm on Wednesday

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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