600kg croc caught after decade-long hunt
CROCS in the Northern Territory aren't rare - but they are at this size.
After a decade-long hunt, rangers in the Northern Territory have finally captured Katherine River's biggest croc - weighing in at a whopping 600 kilograms and measuring 4.71 metres long, about the length of an average family car.
The hunt began after rumours of a "large dark tail" spotted near a local boat ramp, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
NT Parks and Wildlife rangers Chris Heydon and John Burke said it was very unusual to capture a croc this big in the Katherine River system.
"We average a 4.2 metre croc most years, but never this big," Mr Burke said.
Despite its extremely heavy weight, rangers said the male croc, who might be over 60 years old, was not as difficult to trap.
"When they are this big we just sedate them, so there is no chance of us getting chomped," Mr Heydon told the SMH.
The reptile will be taken to a croc farm in the Katherine region, NT Parks and Wildlife confirmed.
In the NT inland waters, a five-metre saltwater crocodile is considered to be rare.
"Although this is the biggest we've caught in the Katherine River, there are bigger ones out there that come up from the Daly River," ranger Burke said.
On their website they make it clear that "croc danger is real".
"Do not become complacent or risk your life."
Croc captures are not unusual in the Top End, earlier this year seven crocodiles were pulled from the river, including two large saltwater crocs - 3.92 metres and 3.97 metres.
There was even a larger find in Darwin, when rangers were called to capture a 4.7m croc from the city's harbour.
Across the NT, there have been 188 saltwater crocodiles captured so far this year while 370 were captured in 2017.
Hope Inlet, located in the territory's northwest, has had the most croc captures this year at 42.
In 1974 a 6.4m saltwater croc was caught on the Mary River in a net. A crocodile has not been longer than 5m when caught in a trap.