(KUTV) — Fifteen years ago, Kai Hansen moved to an island in the middle of a crocodile-infested river in order to get away from the city life, ABC reports. For ten years his dog Pippa taunted the local crocodiles with impunity. This week however, to the horror of onlookers, the dog finally met her end.
The blonde terrier was eaten by a saltwater crocodile nicknamed Casey, whom she had successfully chased away countless times before, ABC reports.
The dog had become famous for chasing local crocodiles into the water, despite the crocodiles being more than 100 times her weight.
Pippa can be seen running to the crocodile’s rear, and then to the side of the crocodile’s head. The giant reptile then quickly bites the dog’s head and rushes into the water.
“It was something that had a high probability of happening sometime,” Hansen said.
Hansen’s dog Hot Dog would bark along when he played the harmonica, but Pippa — nicknamed Dumb Blonde — was an adrenaline junkie. ABC covered the exploits of Hansen and his dogs in 2017.
“You will see things that you do not believe possible,” Hansen told reporters as Pippa charged a crocodile in 2017. “Take my word for it.”
Hansen spoke with ABC on Wednesday morning, saying that he felt “really sad” and that he had not seen the footage of Pippa’s death.
Yet Hansen does not think it is fair to blame the crocodile.
“She’s not doing something wrong,” Hansen said. “She’s just doing what crocs do.”
“In the early days, she actually had a go at me a couple of times,” Hansen recalled. “These days I just throw food out from up the top and no one is allowed to walk down there.”
ABC reports that many on social media have criticized Hansen, saying he is responsible for the dog’s death. But Hansen says it was simply in the dog’s nature. He compares it to a dog he had when he was a child that would not stop chasing cars.
“A little terrier should not do things like that,” Hansen said. “But should I stop her? I don’t know. She got away with it for 10 years.”
Hansen said he wants to get another dog, but this time he will ensure it goes nowhere near the crocodiles, ABC reports.
Crocodile expert Adam Britton also says the crocodile should not be killed for eating the dog.
According to Britton, the situation would be different if the crocodile had attacked a human. If a crocodile learns how to attack “large prey items,” they may be more likely to do it again.
Britton states that the small dog is the same sort of prey any crocodile would target, ABC reports.
“The dog got right up close to the crocodile’s head,” Britton said. “That basically triggers a reflect reaction, and a crocodile, if you get that close to its head, it doesn’t even think about it — it will just strike.”