The sad death of a 13 year old girl taken by a crocodile while swimming in a creek a couple of weeks or so ago here in the Territory has kicked off a bit of a crocodile frenzy in the local tabloid, the Northern Territory News. Not a day goes by without there being a crocodile story although, common theme notwithstanding, the front page is now vacated after the death of a farmer from mosquito borne Murray Valley Encephalitis.
Nonetheless, the croc stories continue with a 2m crocodile snapping at a pet dog on a suburban beach yesterday (the dog escaped) and today presumably the same crocodile emerging from the surf to peer at a surf paddler (the paddler likewise escaped).
Predictably, some people are calling for a wholesale croc cull saying that with no natural predators, croc numbers have skyrocketed over the last 30 years. Others are counselling restraint, some for conservation reasons, other fearing the loss of tourism numbers. It is true that every now and then, a couple of tourists get taken by crocs usually because they swim where they shouldn’t.