Saltwater Crocodile Seized 12-Year-Old Boy Feared Dead [video]
Saltwater crocodile snatched and is feared to have swallowed a 12-year-old boy while he and his friends were swimming at a park in northern Australia. One of the other boys, who is also 12-years-old, was bitten by the crocodile as they swam in the Mudginberri billabong in Kakadu National Park. A billabong is a calm, isolated stretch of water which remains after a river has changed its course.
Police have spent hours on Sunday and through the night looking for the any remnants of the 12-year-old boy whose friends say they saw the crocodile snatch. Park rangers joined the police in boats looking for the child. A fresh crew was sent out Monday morning in hopes of locating the boy. The other youngster who fought back as he was mauled by the crocodile was taken to the hospital where he received treatment for deep wounds to both of his arms.
Moments after the first boy fought off the saltwater crocodile he turned to the other youngster and snatched him into his mouth. The child who was killed is from a small Aboriginal settlement of Mudginberri. This area is west Jabiru, the uranium mining town.
This tragic turn of events happened on a day when Australians celebrate the time when the First Fleet arrived on the continent carrying pioneers and prisoners. The original date is January 26, 1788 and it’s known as Australia Day.
Throughout Kakadu there are signs posted warning people not to swim in waterways because of the known crocodile danger. Kakadu National Park is promoted as a major tourist attraction but it also maintains the densest crocodile population in the Northern Territory. Kakadu is the park where the filming for the original movie Crocodile Dundee was made and is located southeast of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin.
The saltwater crocodile’s numbers have drastically increased across Australia’s tropical north since the 1971 federal law was established to protect the species. These crocodiles are subject to be present in any body of water in the area. In the past 12 years in this area alone 13 people have been killed by saltwater crocodiles, six of those were children.
Saltwater crocodiles are referred to locally as “salties” and are the largest of all living reptiles. These crocodiles can grow as long as 23 feet; they are very opportunistic and frightening. They are called saltwater crocodiles because they tend to dwell in salt water. They will attack any living creature that dares to enter their territory. Many crocodiles have salt glands which allow them to survive in saltwater but they don’t live there.
While the female saltwater crocodiles grow to lengths of over 10 feet, the male saltwater crocodile grows as long as 23 feet. Their jaws are extremely strong and they have very large heads. The younger saltwater crocodiles have black stripes and are a pale yellowish color with spots on their body and tail. Adult crocodiles have a pale white colored underbelly and are more of a darker color on top with sporadic yellow or tan spots. This reptile has to the ability to travel a great distance over the open sea.
These “salties” can be found in coastal waters between the southern coast of India and northern Australia. They can also be found swimming in swamps and freshwater rivers. These reptiles are territorial with the best terrain being held by the strongest male. However, territory is usually kept through posture and not violence.
Saltwater crocodiles eat meat. The younger ones will eat fist, insects, shellfish and small mammals. The adult crocodiles will eat buffalo, snakes, domestic cattle and anything else it can get. They are also known to eat people. The larger the reptile the greater the appetite and the more it can eat.
A saltwater crocodile snatched and is believed to have swallowed a 12-year-old boy while he and his friends swam at a park in northern Australia. Once the crocodile snatched the child into his jaws, they both disappeared into the water and neither one has been seen since.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)