The eternal soul is the real, enduring, and identifying part of the human self, while the body is animal and corrupting. I did not wait to inspect the damage but took off away from the crocodile toward the ranger station. As I leapt into the same branch, the crocodile again propelled itself from the water, seizing me once more, this time around the upper left thigh. In the end I was found in time and survived against many odds. In despair, I grabbed the branch again. It seemed to be intent on tearing me apart slowly, playing with me like a huge growling cat with a torn mouse. I would be safe from crocodiles in the canoe—I had been told—but swimming and standing or wading at the water's edge were dangerous. I knew it would be close, but I was totally unprepared for the great blow when it struck the canoe. Val Plumwood, who was a respected academic and environmentalist, was found dead on … Farther on, the channel opened up and was eventually blocked by a large sandy bar. Plumwood, originally known as Val Routley, took her adopted surname from a variety of tree near her wilderness home. The current's too swift, and if you get into trouble, there are the crocodiles. Plumwood also wrote an essay, “Prey to a Crocodile,” which is not in the book, but available online. With the last of my strength, I climbed up the bank, pushing my fingers into the mud to hold my weight, reached the top, and stood up, incredulous. Passing on the story can help us transcend not only social harm, but also our own biological death. Miles often used the canoe to cross local waterways. A celebration of the life and legacy of Val Plumwood, recorded at the Museum on 7 May 2013. For the first time, it came to me fully that I was the Prey” Val Plumwood, 2006 SUMMARY: Val Plumwood, an Australian feminist and environmental activist describes a nearly fatal attack by a crocodile in her article “Being Prey”. In 1985, the Australian environmental philosopher Val Plumwood was almost killed by a saltwater crocodile as she canoed in Kakadu National Park. I paddled furiously, but the blows continued. When she didn’t return to the station by nightfall, Greg Miles led a search party that eventually found her. So I write a lot about that now. This concept of human identity positions humans outside and above the food chain, not as part of the feast in a chain of reciprocity but as external manipulators and masters of it: Animals can be our food, but we can never be their food. Before the establishment of the national park, the Northern Territory government constructed three wildlife ranger stations inside the sanctuary. We all want to pass on our story, of course, and I was no exception. We are edible, but we are also much more than edible. Not long ago, saltwater crocodiles were considered endangered, as virtually all mature animals in Australia's north were shot by commercial hunters. The lack of fit between this subject-centered version and reality comes into play in extreme moments. As an activist, she’d fought to protect the Kakadu area and to secure its status as a national park. The rain eased temporarily, and I crossed a sandbar to see more of this puzzling place. Perhaps I could bluff it, drive it away, as I had read of British tiger hunters doing. Like the others, it stopped eventually, and we came up in the same place as before, next to the sandpaper fig branch. As the current moved me toward it, the stick developed eyes. The outrage we experience at the idea of a human being eaten is certainly not what we experience at the idea of animals as food. The crocodile still had me in its pincer grip between the legs. The first section of the book comprises three chapters of an incomplete monograph that I am more than just food! By Val Plumwood. Knowing Plumwood was an experienced bushwalker, ranger Greg Miles asked her to walk the route of a proposed walking trail. In 2012 the Museum acquired the five-metre-long canoe that Plumwood was paddling when the crocodile attack began. I grabbed the branch, vowing to let the crocodile tear me apart rather than throw me again into that spinning, suffocating hell. Plumwood tried to leap into the lower branches of a nearby paperbark tree. I struggled on, through driving rain, shouting for mercy from the sky, apologizing to the angry crocodile, repenting to this place for my intrusion. The balanced rock suggests a link between my personal insensitivity and that of my culture. Australian philosopher Val Plumwood survived a prolonged saltwater crocodile attack during a solo canoe excursion in Kakadu National Park in 1985. "Your Worst Animal Nightmares: Crocs 2", part of a reconstruction of the crocodile attack, Your Worst Animal Nightmares, Animal Planet, 2009. The academic and environmentalist had survived an attack by a saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory in the 1980s. I realized I had to get out of the canoe or risk being capsized or pulled into the deeper water of mid channel. As in the repetition of a nightmare, the horror of my first escape attempt was repeated. As the current moved me toward it, the stick appeared to develop eyes. When the tearing, whirling terror stopped again (this time perhaps it had not lasted quite so long), I surfaced again, still in the crocodile’s grip, next to the stout branch of a large sandpaper fig growing in the water. In her 1996 essay "Being Prey", Plumwood described her near-death experience during the crocodile attack. In that flash, I glimpsed the world for the first time "from the outside," as a world no longer my own, an unrecognizable bleak landscape composed of raw necessity, indifferent to my life or death. I recall thinking with relief, as I struggled from the attack site, that I now had a good excuse for being late with an overdue article and a foolish but unusual story to tell a few friends.
2020 val plumwood crocodile attack