Smile At A Crocodile: Crocodile Hunter Wars "Down
Under", by Greg Tingle
The surface smiles of the Australian Crocodile industry
are purely superficial. Trouble is brewing and the
teeth are about to be exposed
enjoys a rich and illustrious crocodile industry,
and, until recently, everyone was smiling - no longer.
With Australia's media and public offside, our most
famous "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin,
has found himself in the deep end. And a new challenger,
an authentic crocodile hunter is emerging; "Crocodile"
Mick Pitman And as Mick succinctly puts it , "he's
gonna blow the industry outta the water!"
concentrated media and marketing campaigns and ploys,
backed up with political clout, Australia is home
to dozens of authentic crocodile hunters. We seem
to breed them!
an egotistical industry. Most crocodile hunters like
to think they're "the best". And then there's
Steve Irwin, the self-proclaimed "Crocodile Hunter"
and "Greatest Wildlife Warrior"! Full of
self-promotion, he's rocking the boat with authentic
crocodilian practitioners both nationally and abroad.
crocodile hunting (and zoo keeping) industry (to include
our friend), is full of characters - some more fair
dinkum and above board than others. There are even
a few living legends that win pseudo government awards.
Some crocodile hunter know how legit and real they
are, other's insist on turning up for political rally's,
and are what's know in the industry as "media
are all aware of one Steve Irwin's antics, but there's
much more to our reptile loving friends that one man.
Take the late, great, "The German" Jack
Kiel, who showed the ropes to "Crocodile"
Mick Pitman (on a case of beer deal), "Crocodile
Safari Man" Keith F. Adams, who crossed Australia
in a Buick, John Lever (who recently let "the
big one" get away on a Hong Kong expedition),
and a host of others.
spotlight, or rather blowtorch, is on the crocodilian
and related industries after a series of high profile
happenings and stunts, ranging from a baby used as
a human prop in a public exhibition, political remarks
by a "hunter", Irwin allegedly whale riding
(later dismissed), and this past September, a new
scandal, perhaps the most serious, a legally included
document was forwarded from the Irwin's management
to "Crocodile" Mick Pitman, requesting he
cease referring to himself as a "Crocodile Hunter"!
Crikey Irwin, that is Pitman's job description, and
has been for the past 26 years no less.
Pitman was none too happy, and promptly telephoned
Irwin's legal, administrative (and film making) division,
"The Best Picture Show". Mr John Harrison
and Mr John Stainton didn't provide any joy, so Pitman,
the straight shooting and fair dinkum Aussie that
he is, made efforts to contact Steve Irwin at Australia
Zoo, with a view to resolving their crocodile hunting
(and naming rights) differences. A woman who took
the call (and wouldn't provide her name) dismissed
Pitman as a "looney" and "a hoax",
after he requested to speak to Steve, Pitman admits
he became abusive, letting fly with, "I want
to speak to Steve or I will blow Australia Zoo out
of the water by going to the media".
Irwin's then devised a hostile act of aggressiveness
and ill will towards Pitman and his livelihood, that
later saw the water reaching boiling point, and a
feeding frenzy like never before.
you could say "Crikey" (another name Irwin
is shoring up legally), Irwin organised Queensland
Police to pay Pitman a friendly visit (a raid), at
his Bundaberg home. The police found nothing. Pitman
wasn't charged. The policemen were seen leaving having
a chuckle, knowing that Pitman wasn't really a danger
to public utilities (or Australia Zoo), in a terrorist
capacity no less!
passionately and rightly says, "I am not a terrorist.
I find the allegation sickening, especially in view
of recent events in Indonesian and Russia. Is there
no limit to the depths that Irwin and his henchmen
will go? Irwin is not a crocodile hunters *@#$%hole.
He's a Money Hunter, and the whole industry knows
now regained his composure, Pitman (and other authentic
crocodile hunters) have devised a plan All 'real'
crocodile hunters will have the right to refer to
themselves by their occupational title, and "legal
eagles", many of which are backing Pitman, believe
Irwin may actually have to relinquish the name, "The
Crocodile Hunter" Technically, he's a "crocodile
trapper", "wildlife trapper". And crocodile
and wildlife film maker.
On legal advice, Pitman is told this scandal goes
all the way up to ACCC, I.P. Australia and the highest
office in the land, with allegations even including
and his partner can't get any straight answers out
of ASIC or I.P. Australia as to how "The Crocodile
Hunter" could be registered, as "the"
is a generic name, as is "crocodile hunter",
and furthermore, Pitman is adamant that to call yourself
a crocodile hunter, "you need to have at least
made 1 kill (of a crocodile), and I've mad thousands,
whilst Irwin's made none, or at least none that he
will admit to. Irwin has some other interesting hobbies
that contradict his public profile, but that's another
story, and I have hunters ready to speak out about
authentic crocodile hunters like Pitman, the current
spotlight and turbulence in the crocodilian industry
can only be a good thing. Pitman rightly has much
to be optimistic about. "I have nothing to loose
with there crocodile hunter ways. I'm an authentic
crocodile hunter whose been doing my thing for 26
years. The "coppers", indigenous people
and the community at large are backing me up on this
all the way".
pressed on the legalities and potential monetary aspects,
Pitman says with authority and conviction, "You
can't get blood out of a stone. Do I look scared to
you? I've been dealing with the croc industry for
decades, including surviving the very real underworld
elements, and things that go bump in the night. The
fuss about who and who can't refer to themselves by
their occupation, "Crocodile Hunter", is
criminal, and is against the Australian way of thinking
and conducting oneself. All Australian authentic crocodile
hunters and the Australian workforce in general, especially
legal and human resources experts need to be watching
this space very closely. Potentially we're looking
at a class action - "Mick Pitman and authentic
crocodile hunters of Australia VS Steve Irwin aka
"The Crocodile Hunter". If I were Toyota
Australia or Discover Communications, I'd be pretty
worried right now.
writer believes it won't be that long until hunters
like Pitman can forget about the naming woes, and
Steve Irwin may be soon calling himself "The
Artist Formally Know As The Crocodile Hunter".
Speaking of the artistic profession, Mr Steve Rackman,
professional wrestling legend, and actor, who played
"Donk" in the 'Crocodile Dundee' movies,
is yet another fair dinkum "Aussie" that
believes Pitman has nothing to worry about.
reinforces his argument, in his fair dinkum Aussie
lingo (not an act), "I'm the real deal, no dolls
or stuffed toy animals here, and I don't swim with
whales of ride surfboards either. If you want to see
what it's all about mate', pack your gear, a riffle
and a few rounds, a few kegs. I'll take you on a real
crocodile hunting expedition, but I will need you
to sign off the legals first. I'm from the bush, but
I'm also boardroom savvy and a bit of a legal eagle.
You know, I've never lost in the field, or in a court
house. I've got the killer instinct, you know mate.
The feeding frenzy has only just begun".
the teeth are out and the chewing and devouring are
about to begin. And crocodile showman aka "Crocodile
Hunter" Steve Irwin, is on the menu. It's mastication
Mick Pitman, authentic crocodile hunter, author, poet
and martial artist
Johnston, life and business partner of Mick Pitman
Crocodile Hunter" Robert "Steve" Irwin,
director, 'Australia Zoo'
Irwin, life and business partner of Steve Irwin
Stainton, director, 'The Best Picture Show Company'
Harrison, 'The Best Picture Show Company'
Tingle, business adviser to Mick Pitman
F. Adams, crocodile hunter, and another client of
Rackman, actor and professional wrestling legend (played
"Donk" in 'Crocodile Dundee' movies, and
another client of Greg Tingle's
Webb, director, The Crocodile Specialist Group
Best Picture Show Company
Mediaman (Greg Tingle's media company)
Government (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service,
Department of Tourism and National Parks and Wildlife
Service, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,
Department of Environment and Heritage, Queensland
Department of Family Services, IP Australia, Australian
Broadcasting Corporation, to name but a few)
Communications (including 'Animal Planet')
The author does have a business relationship to "Crocodile"
Mick Pitman, and has been following "The Crocodile
Hunter" scandals for a number of years.
Greg Tingle 2004
Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin
Safari Man" Keith F. Adams
Crocodile Specialist Group
Communications - Animal Planet