30 julho 2009

Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch flees monster croc

Rachael Finch

Thrills and chills ... Rachael and zookeeper Tate Chambers flee Eric's cage / Stuart Walmsley

Rachael Finch

No crocodile smiles here ... Rachael Finch winning Miss Universe Australia 2009 / Tim Artlett

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MISS Universe Australia Rachael Finch met some crocodiles during her Northern Territory visit yesterday and had to run for her life when a 5m croc named Eric lunged at her.

The stunner told the Northern Territory News it was an incredible - yet scary - experience.

She said it was one of the more unusual events she had been involved in since being announced winner of the pageant in April.

"As soon as I saw him move I got nervous," she said as she laughed about her brush with the huge saltie.

The bubbly beauty visited Crocodylus Park in Darwin to meet some of the biggest crocs in captivity.

The park was established 30 years ago and is home to more than a thousand crocs from 30cm long hatchlings to massive adults.

Finch left Darwin last night to begin her trip to the Bahamas where she will represent Australia at the international finale of Miss Universe in August.

The former model from Queensland, beat 31 other finalists to win Miss Universe Australia - the award formerly won by Jennifer Hawkins, who then famously went on to become Miss Universe in 2004.

Model scout Henry Peterson encouraged Finch to enter the pageant after spotting her "underneath the wings of a Boeing 747 at Townsville Airport".

"When I first saw her I knew she was special," he said after she won.

No doubt the saltie, who liked the look of Finch more than his chicken, would agree.


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