Giant crocodile captured in Australia to stop it going to town

Giant crocodile captured in Australia to stop it going to town

A 15-foot saltwater crocodile was captured Monday in a region of Australia popular with tourists because it is thought to be safe from the reptiles, wildlife rangers said.

"He was removed downstream from Katherine to help prevent human interaction in the more populated areas", said Tracey Duldig, acting director of the Department of Tourism and Culture.

"We've called it a lot of things over the years because it's been so hard to catch", senior wildlife officer John Burke quipped.

A trap was then set a couple of weeks ago near Katherine River - and the crocodile, dubbed "big fella", swam right into it.

According to Reuters, the male crocodile, estimated to be 60 years old, weighs more than 1,300 lbs. and is one of the larger crocodiles on record in the remote area - and the biggest ever taken from the Katherine River.

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"It's a bit of a thrill, but you've also got to admire the size of the animal and how old it is", Burke said.

So far this year, 187 of them have been captured in the Top End - the northernmost part of the Northern Territory, according to the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife website, which advises visitors to be "crocwise". This year, 190 have been captured.

The 4.7m beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010.

Saltwater crocodiles, referred to as salties, are a common fixture of north Australia and kill an average of two people a year. Though it's record-breaking for the area, elsewhere in the wild, saltwater crocodiles can be much larger.

It was moved to live out its days at a crocodile farm.

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