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Australian crocodile Elvis sinks teeth into lawnmower

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:24 AM EST, Wed December 28, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Saltwater crocodile Elvis is the largest in New South Wales, the reptile park says
  • The croc grabbed the lawnmower while keepers were cutting grass in his enclosure
  • He reportedly joined the reptile park in 2008 after becoming a nuisance in Darwin Harbor
  • The creature's teeth measure up to 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) in length

(CNN) -- An Australian crocodile named Elvis took matters into his own hands -- or rather, jaws -- Wednesday when he became annoyed by the sound of a lawnmower.

The five-meter (16-foot) beast, who lives at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, near Sydney, apparently became enraged when two noisy mowers were taken into his enclosure at the same time, a keeper told CNN affiliate 7 News.

Video footage shows Elvis sinking his teeth into the mower and dragging it into his pool, where he then guards it until the machine "drowns," as prey would when pulled underwater.

Keeper Tim Falkner can be heard shouting "let it go, let it go" to his co-worker as the saltwater crocodile takes hold.

A post on the park's website recounts how "cranky croc Elvis" made his move.

"Out of nowhere, he lunged at one of the mowers, dragging it down into the lagoon. He then guarded his new prize until a couple of brave keepers jumped into the enclosure to retrieve the mower and two teeth that he lost in the process! We're happy to report that no one was hurt and Elvis is none the worse for his adventure."

Video shows the crocodile being lured away from his trophy by one of the keepers with a piece of meat on a stick, while the other ventures into the water as a crowd of visitors watch from a safe distance.

As the largest crocodile in New South Wales, Elvis has exceptionally big teeth, keepers say, with the largest measuring 9 centimeters in length (3.5 inches).

The 50-year-old reptile was given a home in the park in 2008, after causing trouble in Darwin harbor by climbing onto fishing boats, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Visitors can watch him being fed on weekends and holidays -- but may not get to see him munching on a mower again any time soon.

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