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Australian police find remains of girl attacked by a crocodile

Australian police find remains of girl attacked by a crocodile

Police in northern Australia said Thursday they had found the remains of a 12-year-old girl who was reportedly snatched by a crocodile earlier this week while swimming in a creek.

The child was reported missing on Tuesday. After a 36-hour search, her remains were found near a river system in Palumpa, a remote community of about 350 people in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“This is devastating news for the family, the community, and everyone involved in the search,” Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said in a statement.

“Police are providing support to the family and community, along with the first responders who attended the scene.”

Gibson confirmed that the child had sustained injuries from a crocodile attack. She also told reporters that efforts to trap the killer crocodile are underway, according to The Associated Press.

Saltwater crocodiles, which can reach 20 feet or more in length and are the largest species of crocodile in the world, are a protected species in the Northern Territory, where there are estimated to be more than 100,000 of them in the wild. It is fairly rare for them to kill humans.

Last month, a saltwater crocodile that had reportedly lunged at humans and snatched pets in another part of the territory was captured, killed and made into a feast for local residents.

Earlier this year, Northern Territory officials said the number of crocodiles allowed to be removed annually would be increased to 1,200 from 300, citing the threat to human safety.