Steve Irwin meets Salt Bae – Ed Sheeran's thrilled by crocodile japes of zoo
Ed Sheeran appeared to be channelling the late Steve Irwin during a close encounter with a colossal crocodile in Australia.
The Shape Of You singer shared a snap of a feeding session with the giant beast – a 9ft saltwater croc called Graham – under the watchful eye of a keeper at Australia Zoo.
Sheeran described his feeding technique – keeping his hand well away the reptile’s gaping jaws – as “Crocodile salt bae”.
He was referring to the trademark flourish of Turkish chef-turned social media sensation Nusret Gokce, whose salt sprinkling action has earned him 12 million Instagram followers.
The Brit Award winner played the first of two shows in nearby Brisbane, Queensland, on Tuesday night, the last on the Australia leg of his world tour.
Founded by “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin and his wife Terri in the 1990s, the zoo said it was “so glad” Sheeran had visited and dubbed him a Wildlife Warrior.
A zoo spokeswoman said: “Ed went to our wildlife hospital and where we feed our crocodiles. It was a pretty special experience as the public are not allowed to feed them and he was with Wes.
“Wes was Steve’s best mate, he was trained up by Steve and he’s now our director.”
The Irwins set up the Wildlife Warriors charity for the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife in 2002.
A global name in conservation, Irwin died in 2006 after he was hit in the chest by a stingray’s barb while snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.