Australian police searching for child allegedly attacked by crocodile


Police in AustraliaA search was underway in the Northern Territory on Wednesday for a 12-year-old child believed to have been attacked by a crocodile.

The child was reported missing on Tuesday night and was last seen swimming in a creek in Palumpa, a remote community of about 350 people located a seven-hour drive from the territory’s capital, Darwin. Initial reports indicated a crocodile attack.

“Local officers are on scene and our thoughts are with the family and community,” said Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said in a statement.

“Officers are currently searching a large section of the creek by boat and we thank the community for their continued assistance.”

It is estimated that there are over 100,000 saltwater crocodiles living in the wild in the Northern Territory. They have been protected from mass culling and hunting since 1971. They are the largest crocodile species in the world and can grow up to 6 metres in length. However, fatal attacks on humans are relatively rare.

Last month, a saltwater crocodile that had reportedly lunged at people and kidnapped pets in another part of the area was captured, killed and turned into a celebration for the local residents.

Because of the threat to human safety, Northern Territory officials have increased the number of crocodiles that can be removed annually from 300 to 1,200 in a 10-year management plan published this year.

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