Australian wildlife officials have captured a 14.5-foot, 770-pound saltwater crocodile at a tourist spot in the country’s Northern Territory.
The giant male crocodile was caught in the Flora River in a remote nature park on Friday, about 75 miles southwest of the town of Katherine in the wilderness, said Catherine’s senior game, John Burke. He said it was the largest crocodile caught in the area in several years.
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“I certainly wouldn’t want to run into him when I’m out fishing,” Burke told Australia’s ABC News News.
The crocodiles are trapped in large cages with bait with wild boar and other meats and immersed in waterways.
Burke said at the exit that the average length of crocodiles that rangers catch in the Catherine River, which is closer to the sea, is about 11 feet 8 inches.
But Burke said a crocodile caught in the Catherine River three years ago was 15.5 feet long.
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The number of crocodiles has been rising in the tropical north of Australia since federal law made them a protected species in the early 1970s.
“They’re certainly increasing (in number) and that’s part of the reason we have management areas – to reduce the number in high-traffic areas so that there is less chance of salt and people interacting,” Burke said. referring to the salty crocodiles.
The caught step was taken to a crocodile farm to become part of a breeding program. Farm-raised crocodiles can be killed for their meat and skin.
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“We hope there will be a little crocodile there and he will have a new girlfriend,” Burke told the store.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.