Abo­rig­i­nal ranger is killed by crocodile

i Newspaper - - NEWS - By Con­rad Smith

A wildlife ranger was killed yes­ter­day by a large crocodile in Aus­tralia’s North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

The abo­rig­i­nal woman was snatched in the re­mote Arn­hem Land area, 130 miles south-west of the indige­nous com­mu­nity of Yir­rkala. Her body was re­cov­ered by po­lice yes­ter­day. Of­fi­cers said the ranger had been fish­ing waist­deep in a river with her fam­ily.

The vic­tim is thought to have been part of the Yir­rkala Rangers pro­gramme, which em­ploys about 50 peo­ple to care for a large sec­tion of tra­di­tional land be­long­ing to the Yol­ngu peo­ple. The state’s em­ploy­ment safety watch­dog, NT Work­Safe, said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Crocodile at­tacks in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory claimed 14 lives be­tween 2005 and 2014, ac­cord­ing to re­search pub­lished last year.

The last fa­tal crocodile at­tack in Aus­tralia was in Oc­to­ber last year when a 79-year-old de­men­tia pa­tient, Anne Cameron, was killed af­ter she wan­dered off from her nurs­ing home at Port Dou­glas in Queens­land state.

Croc­o­diles have been a pro­tected species in Aus­tralia since the 1970s, which has led to an ex­plo­sion in their pop­u­la­tion across the coun­try’s trop­i­cal north. Be­cause salt­wa­ter croc­o­diles can live up 70 years and grow through­out their lives – reach­ing up to seven me­tres in length – the pro­por­tion of large croc­o­diles is also ris­ing.

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