Australian rangers trap enormous saltwater crocodile after decade-long hunt, officials say

600 Kg Australian Monster Crocodile Caught After Eight Year Hunt

In this Monday, July 9, 2018 photo, a large crocodile is captured in a trap near Katherine, Australia.

Measuring 4.7 metres and weighing in at up to 600 kilograms, the snappy saltie was trapped by rangers in Taylor's Park, around 60 kilometres downstream from the Top End town of Katherine. At the gorge there are freshwater crocodiles, which are smaller and rarely harm humans. Mid-year is the peak tourist season.

After nearly a decade on the loose, authorities have finally captured a "monster" Northern Territory crocodile.

Wildlife officer John Burke said the capture was a "bit of a thrill".

"He is the biggest crocodile ever removed from the Katherine River by the Wildlife Operations Unit", Duldig said in a statement.

Saltwater crocodiles are a common feature of Australia's tropical north and kill an average of two people a year.

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The largest crocodile caught in a "trap" was more than 16 feet (4.8 metres), and the largest one "harpooned" by rangers was also more than 16 feet (4.8 metres), it states. Satellite tracking had shown one croc tagged in a Northern Territory waterhole had swum 900 kilometers (560 miles), for unknown reasons, before returning to the same place. Webb said that areas where saltwater crocodiles are the most sparse can be the most unsafe. Webb said the capture proved that the government protection program worked.

"It's worrying, but it's good that they've got an active program and they've got active traps", Webb said.

The reptile will now "be taken to a croc farm in the Katherine region", she said. "This is the biggest saltwater crocodile..."

The crocodile population has exploded since they were declared a protected species in the 1970s, with the killing of an elderly woman past year reigniting calls to curb their numbers.

It is not the first time authorities have captured crocodiles in excess of four metres.

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