A 12-year-old boy was grabbed by a crocodile which swam off with the child in its mouth today in the second fatal attack within two weeks in Australia’s tropical Northern Territory.
Although teams of police and rangers will continue the hunt for the youngster on Sunday they privately fear that the boy is well beyond help.
In the latest tragedy, the boy, believed to be from an Aboriginal outpost near Port Bradshaw, 400 miles east of Darwin, was attacked by a crocodile as he swam with a group of people in a quiet lagoon.
‘Initial reports suggest adults within the group tried to save the boy by spearing the animal, but the crocodile dragged the child out to deeper water,’ said police Superintendent Michael White.
He said officers from an Aboriginal police station were remaining at the scene until dusk and would resume the search for the boy at first light on Sunday.
Mr White said the tragedy once again highlighted the dangers of swimming in waterways in northern Australia.
Today’s attack was a chilling reminder of the day earlier in November when the seven-year-old girl was snatched by a saltwater crocodile 210 miles east of Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital.
Police searching the waterhole shot dead a 10ft crocodile and an examination of the reptile revealed what were believed to be remains of the child in its stomach.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 25ft and weigh more than a ton, are plentiful in the Northern Territory and signs have been erected near waterways warning visitors to stay away from the water and river banks.
Crocodiles are protected in the Northern Territory and their numbers have increased steadily, resulting in a number of attacks on people,
One man writing to the Northern Territory News today said: ‘This has got to stop – there are too many crocs.
‘Of course we need to use common sense when in the bush, but please let’s have a sensible policy on the crocodile population.’-->