Farewell Malcolm Douglas Kimberley Crocodile Man

Known as the Barefoot Bushman, Malcolm Douglas and Australian film maker, crocodile farmer, wildlife park owner, conservationist and true adventurer has sadly died in a freak accident on his Kimberley wildlife park near the North West town of Broome.

Douglas was a crocodile hunter in the Northern Territory in the 1960s, but realised that these magnificent beasts needed to be preserved or they would be wiped out.  Soon after, he made a documentary film about his two years of adventures wandering around the wild and rugged Kimberleys and Northern Territory.  Called Across the Top, it became Australia’s first true life adventure classic, and its profits enabled Malcolm to go on and make 50 films, almost all of them documenting his adventures in Australia’s most remote areas.

In the 1970s Malcolm Douglas bought a block of land in Broome near that town’s famous Cable Beach, and set up a crocodile farm, which became a great success.  Many of his films showed him capturing huge crocs in the wild, and many of these found peaceful lives in his crocodile farm.  His farm generated worldwide headlines not so long ago when a drunken tourist climbed the fence in the middle of the night and ended up in the pen of Fatso, the farm’s biggest croc, where the drunk received a bit of a nip, and an arrest, to remind him of his adventures.

Douglas’s last major enterprise in Broome was to set up a Wildlife Wilderness Park 16kms outside the town, where his ambition was to protect and preserve Australia’s native animals.  It was at his wildlife park where he had his tragic accident.

Malcolm Douglas was a conservationist of note who worked tireless to protect Australia’s native species from feral animals and industrial developments being established on pristine land.  In recent years he beat prostate cancer after being given just 18-months to live.

I was very fortunate to have visited Douglas at his crocodile farm and, as a broadcaster based in Western Australia, to have spoken to him on many occasions.  He was a wonderful, gracious and considerate man beneath his rough exterior, and a truly individual person.

Vale Malcolm Douglas, those who knew you will miss your company, those who didn’t will miss the impact you have had on so many people’s lives.

1 comment to Farewell Malcolm Douglas Kimberley Crocodile Man

  • ash

    cobba, old mal has left us at australias greatest time of need. We are facing one of australias biggest wild dog
    plague in which no one seems to care . People like mal were able to do some thing but now it is up to us. We can sit back and do nothing or we can look back in 20 years as proud ausies, can you please make people aware
    as not to feed or support these animals at all

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