Dozens of crocodile heads dumped in Aus­tralian town

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Up to 70 rot­ting crocodile heads have been found in an old freezer dumped at a re­mote Aus­tralian town, po­lice said Tues­day, with the cul­prits fac­ing large fines and jail time if con­victed of the killings.

Sev­eral teenagers made the grisly find be­hind a row of shops at Humpty Doo, 40 kilo­me­ters (25 miles) out­side Dar­win on Sun­day and con- tacted author­i­ties.

Po­lice said at least 50 salt­wa­ter crocodile heads, and as many as 70, were stuffed in­side.

“(We saw) a deep freezer in a sad state of af­fairs,” se­nior wildlife ranger Tommy Ni­chols, who spe­cial­izes in crocodile man­age­ment, told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

“There was quite a bad smell and mag­gots around ev­ery­where.”

No one has been ar­rested but any­one con­victed of killing pro­tected wildlife faces a fine of up to AU$76,500 (US$55,000) or five years in jail.

It was not clear why the heads had been sev­ered but crocodile skins are highly prized and there is a thriv­ing mar­ket.

Salt­wa­ter crocodiles, which can grow up to seven me­ters long and weigh more than a tonne, have be- come in­creas­ingly com­mon in Aus­tralia’s North­ern Ter­ri­tory since they were de­clared a pro­tected species in 1971.

Each year more than 500 are culled to pro­tect the public and live­stock, with the an­i­mals killing an av­er­age of two peo­ple a year.

Keep­ing them as pets is le­gal in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory if they are un­der 60 cen­time­ters.

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