She hunted down the biggest crocodile in history, and then … took care of them …


At the request of Readers with Polish roots but who have lived in EMIGRATION for many years, we enclose an English translation of this beautiful story about a POLISH WOMAN – a forgotten Polish hunter …

There is a movie – I think Readers in Australia remember Crocodile Dundee from the Hollywood blockbuster movie. This production made Australia famous all over the world, but also the two actors of the main roles. But what Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski showed to the viewer (along with the crocodile) is an advantageous fragment of what actually was the daily work of Krystyna and Ron.

„Krys one shot”! Krystyna Pawłowska, known as „One Shot Krys”, shot a 8.63 m crocodile in Australia in 1957. While hunting crocodiles, together with her husband she got to know the habits and life of these reptiles better, and finally she founded probably the first crocodile farm in Australia and took up their protection. The story of the Polish crocodile hunter is recalled by the Australian Daily Mail, which interviewed the son of Krystyna „Krys” Pawłowska, Jerzy. Krystyna and her second husband Ron (Roman) came to Australia after World War II.

They met in 1955 in Perth. They both experienced World War II, which caused them to leave their homeland. Krystyna survived her father’s exile to Siberia, and as part of an exchange of prisoners of war, she went to England, where she married her first husband. She had three children with him. In 1949 she went to Australia, where her marriage broke up.

Ron was active in the underground during the war as a young boy. He was arrested and sent to a German camp in Slovakia, from where he managed to escape. He served in the US Army and eventually ended up in Australia as well. Krystyna and Ron got married shortly after they met. Ron in Australia was engaged in gold prospecting. One day, when they were by the river, Krystyna’s daughter Barbara was taking a bath and she was attacked by a crocodile. „My brother came out, saw it and shouted,” Barbara, the crocodile! ” and my father grabbed a rifle and shot him in the eyes, ”said the Daily Mail Australia, Krys’s son, Jerzy Pawłowski.

The family framed the reptile and sold its skin. It was then that they realized that crocodile hunting could be a very profitable activity due to the demand for luxury material. They got £ 10 for their skin, and the weekly average they pay at that time was £ 13. The married couple started hunting reptiles. It quickly turned out that Krystyna, who did not use any weapons before coming to Australia, had an outstanding talent for this. A Polish immigrant was supposed to shoot as many as 5,000 crocodiles, missing just three times in her life.

She was much better with the pistol than I was, and much better with the shotgun than I was,” Ron Pawłowski told The Age journalist in 2002. „We could both hit the bottle from a distance of 90 meters, but Krys was able to shoot a second time in the same hole,” he added.

He emphasizes that his mother stood out from other crocodile hunters not only in her shooting skills. – „Although she waded waist-deep in the thick mud, she always wore lipstick and red nail polish – I think it contrasted with how she made a living and made Krystyna finally hunt down the biggest crocodile that had been captured so far, or man-killed and measured. In the Carpentaria Bay, she hunted a 8.63-meter crocodile. The reptile was so big and heavy that it couldn’t even be skinned and it stayed on the riverbank. The marriage was just to measure him and take pictures of him. Krys’ record was even supposed to go to the Guinness Book of Records. A life-size replica of a crocodile is located in the middle of Normanton Bay.

The first boat Ron built of wood did not do well in the treacherous, muddy rivers.So he ordered a decent, modern plastic boat from Sydney.She was brought to Karumba by a man whom Roman persuaded to join the project.Unfortunately, the partner did not last long.After the first few hunts, he quit his job and returned to Sydney.Krystyna decided to help her husband.The hunter couple became famous in Australia.The woman came to be called „One Shot Krys”.However, over time, the Pawłowscy changed their approach to crocodiles, when they realized that what they and other hunters live from significantly influences the population of large reptiles.While hunting, Ron and Krys began examining the animals they had shot.They paid attention to their eating habits and behavior.

Jerzy Pawłowski emphasizes, at some point his parents decided to stop killing crocodiles living in the wild and took care of their protection. In 1965, at a time when it was not popular, the Pawłowski family established the first crocodile farm in Australia and probably one of the first in the world. Ultimately, the pair were forced to close the farm due to opposition from the then pro-hunting Queensland government. Instead, they became experts on the protection of these animals.

„I’m sorry I shot him, poor man,” said Krys in his old age. “He never woke up, didn’t know we were there. We couldn’t move it, it was too big. He was the most beautiful animal, ”she added in an interview published in 2002. Pawłowska died in 2004.


Source: „Daily Mail Australia” / „The Age” / memories of friends from Queensland.


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