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Saturday 20 September 2014

VIDEO:15ft crocodile named Michael Jackson kills Australian man

Antonia Molloy

Published 19/08/2014 | 10:31

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A 57-year-old man was killed in front of his wife by a 15ft crocodile dubbed Michael Jackson, as the pair fished in a river in northern Australia.

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The unnamed man went into the Adelaide River, a spot notorious for the deadly predators, to unsnag his line when he was taken the saltwater crocodile, Northern Territory Police Duty Superintendent Jo Foley said.

The woman did not see her husband taken, but heard “a scream and then turned around and saw a tail splashing in the water,” the officer said.

The Adelaide River crocodiles are a major tourist attraction. The man was attacked near the Arnhem Highway bridge close to where cruise ships show sightseers crocodiles leaping from the water to snatch chicken carcasses suspended from poles.

Police Senior Constable Travis Edwards said searchers in boats found the victim's body last night and shot the crocodile.

The creature was named after pop star Jackson due to its albino colouring, which meant it had a distinctive white head.

Tony Blums who runs Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodile Cruises, told Sky News: “It's very unusual to have an albino croc.

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“It's sad they had to shoot him. I'm always telling people not to go fishing because the sound of the fish splashing attracts the crocs, who go and take a look and then lurk close by just under the surface.”

Police Superintendent Bob Harrison told Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the killer crocodile had regularly leapt for chickens dangled from the cruise ships and was well known to operators of the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise.

The death is the first in Australia since June, when a 15ft 5in crocodile snatched a 62-year-old fisherman from his dinghy on the South Alligator River in the Northern Territory.

Crocodile numbers have swelled across Australia's tropical north since the species was protected by law in 1971. The population is densest in the Northern Territory.

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