Crocodile Hunted as Teenage Boy Found Dead

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Australian authorities are searching for a crocodile after a teenage boy was found dead with injuries consistent with an attack by the reptile.

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The 16-year-old was reported missing around 4 a.m. local time on Thursday after heading out on a boat trip with a 13-year-old boy, the Queensland Police said in a statement.

The younger boy made it back to shore without the 16-year-old, who disappeared after the pair’s boat broke down in rough water near Saibai Island in the Torres Strait near Queensland.

A search was “immediately activated and commenced,” the police reported. They have now discovered a body believed to be the boy with injuries “consistent with a crocodile attack.”

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“The formal identification process is underway to confirm the identity of the body, and further testing is underway to confirm the cause of death,” the police statement read. “Police are working with officers from the Department of Environment and Science as investigations continue.”

It is estimated the reptile responsible measured around 11 feet in length, the Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, who assisted with the search, said in a statement.

“Wildlife officers will survey the waters off Saibai Island by helicopter this afternoon in an attempt to locate the crocodile involved,” the statement said. “The local community has requested that the animal involved in the incident be removed from the wild.”

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The Torres Strait is in Australia’s “crocodile country.” It is home to saltwater crocodiles, which are known for being territorial and, at times, aggressive.

Crocodile attacks are extremely rare, though not unheard of in circumstances when the reptiles and humans are in close proximity.

The species can grow over 20 feet long and have one of the most powerful bite forces in the animal kingdom. Approximately 1,000 people are killed by saltwater crocodiles every year. In Australia, only one person is attacked every year, according to 2017 government data.

In January, a 9-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after a crocodile attack. The boy was airlifted to a hospital from Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territories, an area where there is an abundance of crocodiles.

There are an estimated 10,000 crocodiles living in Kakadu National Park.

Although freshwater crocodiles are also found in Australia, their saltwater cousins are much bigger and, therefore, more dangerous. In fact, saltwater crocodiles are considered one of the most dangerous crocodile species.

This article by Robyn White was first published by Newsweek on 19 April 2024. Lead Image: Stock photo of a crocodile leaping from the water with its mouth open. A 16-year-old boy was found dead with injuries consistent with a crocodile attack in Australia. AYZENSTAYN/GETTY.

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