Officials have killed two crocodiles searching for a missing man in Australia. They think the man might have been attacked by a crocodile on Saturday while fishing in Queensland’s Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park.
“It’s a national park, and there are wild animals up there, wild crocodiles,” detective Jason Chetham told local reporters Monday. “Obviously, that’s one of the possibilities.”
Queensland police and emergency services began a search at the Kennedy Bend camping ground following the man’s disappearance. The two crocodiles, measuring 13.5 feet (4 meters) and 9 feet (2.7 meters), were removed from the water and killed on Monday. Officials will perform an autopsy to search for clues.
Crocodile attacks are rare, with only four fatal attacks reported in Queensland over the last ten years, according to the Department of Environment and Science, which actively monitors crocodile populations and kills any animal posing a significant threat to humans.
Queensland politician Robbie Katter said crocodile numbers had ‘exploded’ in the region. He wants to control the number of crocodiles by killing them, as the Australian government does with other wild animals when their numbers are too high, like kangaroos and wild dogs.
Conservationists have raised concerns about the widespread killing of crocodiles, as removing large males can cause social unrest among crocodile communities and disrupt estuary ecosystems.