- A decade long hunt to catch the Katherine region’s biggest crocodile has ended in triumph
- The male saltwater croc weighs 600 kilograms and measures 4.7 meters
A decade long hunt to catch the elusive saltwater crocodile weighing 600 kilograms (1,328 pounds) in Australia has finally ended, officials said Tuesday.
The 4.7-meter (15.4-foot) male beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010. Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife confirmed the news that it had trapped the 600-kilogram reptile on Monday.
Officials have tried in vain for years to catch the croc, which they said was around 60 years old.
“We’ve called it a lot of things over the years because it’s been so hard to catch,” senior wildlife officer John Burke told broadcaster ABC via NDTV.
“It is a bit of a thrill, but you’ve also got to admire the size of the animal and how old it is. You’ve got to have a bit of respect for it.”
“He is the biggest crocodile ever removed from the Katherine River by the Wildlife Operations Unit,” Northern Territory wildlife operations chief Tracey Duldig said in a statement.
Since crocodiles became a protected species, crocodile numbers in the Northern Territory have exploded from 3,000 to an estimated 80,000 to 100,000.
Because saltwater crocodiles can live up 70 years and grow throughout their lives, reaching up to 7 meters (23 feet), the proportion of large crocodiles is also rising.