Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Rangers in Australia's Katherine region has finally succeeded in their decade-long hunt to catch the biggest crocodile. The male saltwater crocodile measuring 4.71 metres long and weighing 600kg was captured in the Northern Territory on Monday. In the same area, about 60km downstream of the centre of Katherine, a smaller crocodile measuring 2.37 metre was also pulled up. Despite the crocodile being a giant, rangers said catching it was not difficult.
For years, the presence of a giant reptile in the river waters was a rumour among locals who used the boat ramp. The Rangers had conducted aerial surveys in May earlier this year and spotted three crocodiles. They had placed traps two weeks ago. Ranger John Burke told Katherine Times that it was the biggest crocodile they had caught in years.
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NT Parks and wildlife have caught the biggest croc in Katherine to date. Rangers have been chasing the 4.71 m saltie for 10 years. pic.twitter.com/EfL3JIXhFr
— Roxanne Fitzgerald (@rfitz18) July 9, 2018
Burke told the publication, "We average a 4.2-metre croc most years, but never this big. Capturing more crocs downstream makes it less likely we’ll find any closer to the Katherine town. Although this is the biggest we've caught in the Katherine River, there are bigger ones out there that come up from the Daly River." Another ranger Chris Heydon said, "When they are this big we just sedate them, so there is no chance of us getting chomped."
The 60-year-old croc is the seventh one to be pulled from the river. The others were 3.92 metres and 3.97 metres which were caught in February and March respectively. The rangers said that the capture of the crocodile suggested that one should not swim in the river even in the daytime. Finding a crocodile in the Katherine, more than 300km inland from Darwin almost five metres long is rare. In 1974, a 6.4m saltwater crocodile was caught from the Mary River. The aquatic animal was killed and its head chopped with an axe.