Crocodile Snatches 12-Year-Old

Increasing calls for a cull in Australia
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2014 11:22 AM CST
A 13.5 foot saltwater crocodile on the Adelaide river in Australia's Northern Territory.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

(Newser) – A teen swimming with a group of friends in Australia's Kakadu National Park yesterday was attacked by a crocodile and escaped—only to have the croc move on to one of his friends, a 12-year-old now believed dead. The Telegraph reports that if the younger boy was indeed taken by the saltwater crocodile, it would mark the sixth time a "saltie" has killed a child in the last 12 years, and that's led to renewed calls for a cull. Laws protecting the salties were put in place in 1971, and their ranks have swelled since, with as many as 100,000 of them occupying the Northern Territory.

Sky News reports officials are going to great lengths in an effort to recover the boy's body: A trap has been set in Magela Creek, which feeds the waterhole; air, land, and boat searches have taken place; and any croc measuring more than 6.5 feet can be shot. And so far, two have, though slicing them open revealed no human remains. And the search efforts have been hampered by seasonal flooding, while has swelled the creek from a width of about 650 feet to more than 3,000 feet. The 15-year-old who was attacked was grabbed on his right arm and then his left, reports CNN. Based on the bite marks, the crocodile is believed to measure eight to nine feet. (A 26-year-old was killed by a croc in the area last year; more on that here.) Meanwhile, Australia has already launched another cull: of sharks.

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