Sunday, December 2, 2012

Australia: Boy, 9, Snatched by Crocodile While Swimming, Youngster Presumed Dead, 2nd Death in Two Weeks

Tragically, a nine-year-old boy, while swimming with other children in Arnhem Land on Saturday (December 1), south of Port Bradshaw, was grabbed by a crocodile estimated to be at least thirteen long, whereby the amphibian swam away with the youngster. 

First responders presume that there is virtually no likelihood that boy is still alive. 

A local police officer reported that there were up to eight salt water crocodiles in the area in which the boy was grabbed. In fact, search parties fired at several of the crocs in search of the missing boy. 

On November 16, a seven-year-old girl was also seized by a large crocodile, while swimming with her family in  the some area.  That crocodile was eventually found and fatally shot the next day; the youngster's remains were found inside of it.

COMMENT: Northern Territory public safety and conversation agencies have attempted to preserve and protect crocodiles while engaging in a fragile balancing act to safeguard the public. Unfortunately, though, despite parental vigilance and continual public information campaigns, crocodile attacks do occur from time to time. 

The Arnhem Land region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the northeastern corner of the territory and is around 500 kilometers from the territorial capital of Darwin, which includes the area known as Kakadu National Park. 

In 1623, Dutch East India Company captain Willem van Colster sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape Arnhem where he named the area after his ship, the ARNHEM, which itself was named after the city of Arnhem in The Netherlands. 

Arnhem Land has been occupied by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years and is the location of the oldest-known stone axe, which scholars believe to be 35,500 years old. 

The area extends from Port Roper on the Gulf of Carpentaria around the coast to the East Alligator River where it connects with Kakada National Park. 

Needless to say, it is strongly urged that tourists and travelers to Australia take the time to become familiar with reptiles, insects, amphibians and wildlife that pose a risk to humans.