Crocodile that took boy was fed by locals

2012-12-03 09:02


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Hopes were fading on Monday for a 9-year-old boy taken by a 4m crocodile in northern Australia, which police said was being fed by the local community.

The child was swimming with a group of people at Port Bradshaw, 80km south of the town of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, on Saturday when he was grabbed.

Adults threw spears at the animal but it responded by dragging the boy into deeper water and no sign has been seen of him since.

It was the second recent attack on a child after a 7-year-old girl went missing while swimming with her family last month, also in Australia's north. A hunt resulted in a crocodile being shot and human remains were found inside it.

Northern Territory police said that in the latest incident the crocodile had lived side by side with the Nhulunbuy community for 20 years.

"The croc was believed to be very old and the community had interacted with it in the past," a police spokesperson said.

Steady increase in numbers

"From time to time they threw it food, or left fish carcasses out. Not a wise move.

"Our local officer in Nhulunbuy said the croc had been known to the community for 20 years," the spokesperson added.

Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 7m long and weigh more than a ton, are a common feature of Australia's tropical north.

They have been protected since the 1970s and their numbers have increased steadily since, along with the number of human encounters.

Adam Britton, a Darwin-based crocodile specialist, told ABC radio it might be time for a new crocodile management plan, given the explosion in numbers.

"Areas where people haven't seen crocodiles for decades, they're suddenly starting to see animals in these places," he said.

Britton said any management plan should be more than just removing crocodiles from danger areas, which is the current practice.

"It's also about educating people and educating the local community about the dangers of crocodiles, train the local rangers, the local community to actually start taking their own proactive steps towards making the place safer for people," he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    australia  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Fourie: Boks can't be in a better position
All Blacks' deficiencies in the spotlight
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.