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Australia controlling its alarming crocodile population after child’s death

Australia controlling its alarming crocodile population after child’s death

The Australian government is making an effort to control the alarming number of crocodiles in its Northern Territory after a 12-year-old girl was killed by one of the beasts.

Ever since the country deemed crocodiles a protected species in the 1970s, the animal’s population has risen drastically, from about 3,000 to 100,000 in the region — which only has 250,000 inhabitants.

“We can’t have the crocodile population outnumber the human population in the Northern Territory,” Chief Minister Eva Lawler told reporters Thursday, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “We do need to keep our crocodile numbers under control.”


In Australia’s Northern Territory, 15 people have died from crocodile attacks between 2005 and 2014, and in 2018, two more perished. AFP via Getty Images

In the Northern Territory, 15 people have died from crocodile attacks between 2005 and 2014, and in 2018, two more perished.

The girl’s body was found were found near the area where she had gone missing in a creek in Nganmarriyanga, an Aboriginal community in the Daly River region. The child has not been publicly identified.

Just weeks prior to the tragedy, the territory approved a 10-year plan for the management of crocodiles, and a budget of $337,000 has been set aside for the program.


crocodile swimming
Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to 23 feet in length. AFP via Getty Images

The region’s opposition leader, Lia Finocchiaro, argued that there should be a higher budget, stating the girl’s death “sends a message that the Territory is unsafe and on top of law and order and crime issues, what we don’t need is more bad headlines.”