A camera operator filming a documentary for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation captured the moment a saltwater crocodile leaped from the water and munched on his low-flying drone.
The documentary marks the 50th anniversary of the ban on hunting ancient reptiles in the Northern Territory.
Footage salvaged from the wrecked drone shows it skimming the water towards a motionless crocodile in a lagoon at the Darwin wildlife park.
The behemoth’s tail flicks, and mere seconds later, the croc’s teeth appear in front of the camera.
The drone with the camera attachment is quickly plunged into the water.
The drone had been damaged beyond repair, but the card with the footage survived, enabling the team to retrieve what had been shot.
The drone now hangs in the ABC News crew room as a cautionary tale.