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Rangers successfully catch 1,300-lb crocodile after decade-long search

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Jul 12, 2018
10:34 A.M.
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The hunt for the Katherine region’s biggest crocodile came to a successful end on July 9 for the senior wildlife rangers, John Burke and Chris Heydon.

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According to Katherine Times, the rangers trapped a male saltwater croc measuring 4.71 meters long, which is the average size of a family car.

Another smaller crocodile measuring only 2.37 meters was also pulled out of the Katherine River in the same are, only about 60 kilometers downstream of the center of Katherine.

The source informed that the frequent rumors regarding the sightings of a dark tail near the boat ramp, 60 kilometers down the stream from the High-Level Bridge, prompted the rangers to be on the hunt for a decade.

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Heydon and Burke, NT Parks and Wildlife rangers, explained that it is extremely rare to capture a croc of this big a size in the Katherine River system.

According to Burke, they capture a 4.2-meter-croc most years, in an average, but something this big was never caught before.

The source further informed that the rangers set the trap two weeks ago, and it caught the bigger one first.

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The huge saltwater croc, which weighs almost 600 kilograms and was estimated to be over 60 years old, was not as difficult to trap as one might assume, Burke explained.

“When they are this big we just sedate them, so there is no chance of us getting chomped,” ranger Heydon added.

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The rangers further explained that capturing more crocs downstream “makes it less likely” that they will find these animals any closer to the Katherine town.

This surprising capture during the dry season further stresses the importance of the warnings of Parks and Wildlife to avoid swimming in local rivers and streams.

Burke also warned that there still were crocs, bigger in size than the one they caught, that come up from the Daly River.

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