A crocodile is being hunted by Australian police as they believe the animal snatched a 12-year-old boy while he was swimming with his friends.
Police officers have been given orders to shoot any crocodile more than eight feet long in a bid to find the boy’s remains. They have so far killed two of the animals but neither had anything in their stomachs.
Northern Territory Police said in a statement the boy was swimming in the Mudginberri Billabong, a creek in the Kakadu National Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory. They said they believe the boy was taken at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.
“It is believed the 12-year-old boy was taken by a crocodile as he and a number of other young boys were swimming in the billabong,” Acting Commander Michael White said.
Another boy, also 12, suffered severe bites to both arms fighting off the beast. Police believe the “saltie” – as the sometimes salt-water animals are known in Australia – then dragged his friend under the water.
Saltwater crocodiles are the largest living reptiles on Earth and can grow up to 23 feet and 2,200 pounds. They have gained a reputation as a man-eater and can live in freshwater, brackish, or saltwater.
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