Shoalhaven Zoo owner Nick Schilko has defended his “star attraction”, saying Big John didn’t do anything wrong.
“I don’t think he did anything, basically he thought he had caught some meat, and he caught some extra meat,” he said.
“We discussed this and walked through any scenarios and we expected if ever a piece of us was in his mouth he would back up and drag towards the water. So what we expected to happen, happened.
“He is an excellent croc, he follows us and does what we want him to do. “He’s pretty much a normal croc, he follows routines.
“On Monday, he didn’t want to go any further out – handler Trent Burton was trying to encourage him to move a bit more, which is a normal part of our routine training.
“We like to continue the training to come the full way out before we reward him with food that is the expectation. This time he got the food and Trent didn’t want to reward him and tried to take it back.
“But big John snapped back, literally.”
Mr Schilko said there are no plans for the zoo’s largest reptile.
“He will live his life as normal, happy and content,” he said.
“The zoo will go on doing shows, obviously being very careful and trying to avoid anything like this.
“Of course, our first concern was Trent was okay. He literally jumped out and started apologising, he asked everyone to relax and was upset it happened for his sake and also the visitors who were traumatised.”