Friday 28 July 2017

Man killed by crocodile while wading across Australian river

It was the first fatal crocodile attack in Australia since May last year
It was the first fatal crocodile attack in Australia since May last year

A man has been killed by a crocodile while trying to cross a flooded river in the northern Australian wilderness.

Police said the 47-year-old was wading through the East Alligator River in the Northern Territory with two women when he disappeared near the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.

The women made the crossing safely then reported the man missing.

Police and rangers found his body downstream late on Thursday near an 11ft crocodile.

The crocodile was shot dead and the man's body was taken to the city of Darwin for a post-mortem.

Media reports say the three lived in a nearby Aboriginal community.

Cahill's Crossing is a renowned fishing spot for prized barramundi, but it also attracts crocodiles as well as anglers.

The authorities are frustrated by the risks some people take near the river despite an angler being decapitated by a large crocodile at the crossing in 1987.

"The signs are saying not to swim or even go in the water at Cahill's Crossing. There's been a lot of media attention around that crossing. People continue to do it," Police Sergeant Bob Harrison said.

The tragedy is the first fatal crocodile attack since a 46-year-old woman was taken during a late-night swim in the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park in Queensland state in May last year.

Since crocodiles became a protected species under federal law in 1971, numbers in the Northern Territory have exploded from 3,000 to an estimated 80,000 to 100,000.

Because saltwater crocodiles can live up 70 years and grow throughout their lives, reaching up to 23ft, the proportion of large crocodiles is also rising.

AP

Press Association

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