Rangers Kill 14-Foot Crocodile Responsible for Girl’s Death in Creek

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In northern Australia, a 14-foot crocodile was killed by rangers after the tragic death of a 12-year-old girl. She was swimming with her family in Mango Creek near Palumpa, a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, when she was attacked. This incident marks the first deadly crocodile encounter in the area since 2018.

Authorities had been trying to capture the crocodile since the attack. They received the necessary approvals from local traditional landowners, for whom saltwater crocodiles hold totemic significance, before they fatally shot the animal.

Following forensic analysis, the crocodile was confirmed to be the one responsible for the girl’s death. Senior Sgt. Erica Gibson expressed that this incident profoundly affected the family and mentioned ongoing support provided by local police.

The crocodile, estimated to be at least 30 years old and male, could have had a lifespan of up to 70 years if left undisturbed. Crocodile scientist Grahame Webb explained that crocodiles like this grow throughout their lives.

This recent fatality comes shortly after the Northern Territory government initiated a new 10-year plan aimed at managing the crocodile population more aggressively, increasing the culling rate near human settlements.

Northern Territory Police Minister Brent Potter reminded the public about the intrinsic dangers of water areas inhabited by crocodiles following this event. The region is notably sparsely populated, with crocodile numbers approximating 100,000 compared to a human population of 250,000.

Grahame Webb noted that the crocodile population tends to regulate itself through territorial disputes and predation among themselves. Despite human efforts at population management, crocodiles remain highly mobile and interactions with humans continue to pose risks. Other recent dangerous interactions in Australia include a crocodile attacking a snorkeler and another incident where a fisherman encountered a crocodile on his boat.

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