Body of Saltwater Crocodile Found – Shot by Trophy Hunters?
Government environmental officers in the town of Broome (Kimberley region, Western Australia), are examining the carcase of a four metre long crocodile found at a popular, local fishing spot known as Crab Creek. Saltwater crocodiles are relatively common in the area but to find the corpse of an animal is quite rare, especially one where most of the teeth have been removed.
The officials suspect that the animal, which had been shot, was killed by trophy hunters eager to grab crocodile teeth as they make “crocodile Dundee-like” hat bands and necklaces.
The decomposing body was discovered a couple of days ago and an examination of the skull showed that the reptile had been shot in the head with a high-powered rifle.
A district wildlife officer commented:
“With this animal we found the teeth had been removed, people like to keep teeth for necklaces or trophies so that could have been the motive.”
In Western Australia it is an offence to kill a crocodile, there is a $10,000 AUD fine for anyone caught and there are additional penalties for anyone taking parts of a carcase – including the teeth.
If the bullet is found it will be removed and studied as part of the investigation.