A 4-metre plus saltwater crocodile was caught at Woods Inlet near Darwin in the Northern Territory on Sunday.
NT News reported that the 4.2-metre (13 feet and seven inches) croc was captured just 8km (4.9 miles) from Darwin CBD with NT Parks and Wildlife crocodile management unit wildlife ranger Ian Hunt saying, that it was the largest croc caught in Darwin Harbour so far this year.
“They’re not an everyday occurrence, but it’s not uncommon,” he said. “We’ve removed four over 3.7 metres (12 feet) this year, but this is the biggest.”
The croc, which is longer than an African elephant is from shoulder to toe, is believed to be an older male, offered little resistance and was relocated to a crocodile farm.
“This guy was an easy removal,” Hunt said. “We’re only guessing, but he seemed like quite an old crocodile that came in looking for an easy feed.”
Hunt used this occurrence as a timely reminder for people to be vigilant around Top End waterways during the wet season.
“It’s very important for the general public to be aware that these crocodiles are around and looking for an easy feed,” he said.
“We want people to be aware that crocodiles aren’t too far from communities or where you swim.”
This comes after data from 2021 reveals that a crocodile is removed from waterways in the Top End almost every day on average.
Specifically, in 2021, 306 crocodiles were captured as part of the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security (DEPWS) capture and management program, NT News reported.
The objectives of this program are to reduce the likelihood of crocodile attacks, warn the community of the perceived presence of crocodiles, educate people about how to be vigilant around waterways, and reduce the number of saltwater crocs entering areas where they might come into contact with people.
Almost a third of the 306 crocs caught in 2021 were removed from Darwin Harbour, the largest being just over 4.5 metres (14 feet 7 inches) long.
Ranger Hunt said that they also removed them from all creeks and river systems.
“We removed six crocodiles from the creek along Gunn Point Road, which is concerning because a dog was taken by a croc from there … which is a real tragedy,” he said.
Hunt said that on account of heavy rains over Christmas, waterholes have filled, creating a “crocodile highway”.
“With the wet season coming, creeks are going to be flooding again, and crocs will be on the move,” he said.