‘Crocodile Dundee’ dies in gun battle

Thursday, August 5, 1999

Police said Rodney Ansell shot dead a police sergeant but a second officer had returned fire killing the former buffalo hunter.

Police had been looking for Mr Ansell, 44, following an attack on a family near Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, which left two people injured.

The gunfight brought a dramatic end to the life of a man whose survival instincts and rough wilderness manner had made him a symbol of Australian toughness.

He became a hero in 1977 after being stranded on an island for two months when a crocodile overturned his small boat. He survived by shooting sharks and buffalo.

His exploits were celebrated in his book and a documentary film, both called To Fight the Wild.

Mr Ansell wrote in the book that the loneliness of his ordeal had not bothered him – but he did miss the company of women.

The story sparked actor and writer Paul Hogan’s imagination and inspired him, Ken Shadie and John Cornell to write a film about an Outback superstar – Crocodile Dundee.

With Hogan in the title role, the film portrayed the hunter as a backwoodsman out of place in the big city.

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