Handfeeding the pet croc. He's braver than I am.
Buka is remembered fondly by the Koorana Crocodile Farm staff.
Queensland's near century-old crocodile Buka dies in captivity, leaving his partner in mourning
Buka was 5.3m, one tonne and thought to be almost a century old
He was removed from a popular swimming spot at Ingham in 1984
He fathered hatchlings until last year and died earlier this week
A 5.3-metre stud crocodile said to have a "great personality" and estimated to be almost a century old has died in central Queensland leaving his partner in mourning, according to his handlers.
Buka, who weighed more than one tonne, was removed from the wild in 1984 and taken to Koorana Crocodile Farm, a popular tourist attraction near Rockhampton.
The farm said he was the second biggest croc in captivity in Australia.
'He was an icon croc'
He was named after the region of Buka in Papua New Guinea and had been relocated to another wildlife sanctuary during COVID-19.
"We've been watching him now for the last three or four months, he's started to go off his tucker a bit. He was looking quite lethargic, he didn't move a great deal," Mr Lever said.
"We used to go in and hand feed him, as in touch him on the nose with a stick and he'd open his mouth. We'd pop the food in his mouth so he didn't have to come and get it."
In a post to social media, the farm said Buka was one of the gentlest wild crocodiles they had ever seen — and that his partner Bonnie was in mourning.
"He was an icon croc, he had a great personality," Mr Lever said.
"He was the sort of croc you could walk in the pen with, he wasn't looking at people as food items, rather we were just feeders, that's all.
"Great personality, entertained thousands of people over the years so a huge loss to us."
Until his removal, Buka was living in an irrigation channel on a North Queensland cane farm.
"People used to knock off work at the mill and go for a quick dip to wash the sweat and dust off them and they were swimming with an enormous crocodile without knowing about it," said John Lever from Koorana Crocodile Farm.
"He was a gentle fellow, obviously. He used to just go underwater and people would swim over the top of him, but he never harmed anyone.
"The local farmer knew he was there because he used to feed him on roadkill wallabies and then he started to get an attack of the guilts because he thought someone was going to get hurt, so he asked us to go and catch it and we got Government approval to do so."
He lived an active lifestyle on the farm, fathering many, many crocodiles up until last year.
An impressive feat for a reptile thought to be almost a century old.
"Last year his girl laid 56 eggs and they were all fertile, so he was still an active old bloke," Mr Lever said.
I've seen this croc a few times , and he was massive.
The stuff of nightmares if you found yourself sharing the same mud flat , river bank or area of water.