Location of suspected croc attack at Port Bradshaw, south of the mining town of Nhulunbuy, in east Arnhem Land. Image: Google Maps
THE crocodile believed responsible for snatching a nine-year-old boy from a remote Northern Territory swimming spot was “well known” to the local community, according to police.
A police spokesman said the suspect crocodile was old and had lived side by side with the Nhulunbuy community “for years”.
“It was virtually to the point there was interaction between the croc and the community,” the spokesman said.
The child was swimming with a group of people in Port Bradshaw estuary when he was grabbed by the crocodile at about 12.30pm (CST) on Saturday.
Adults threw spears at the animal but it responded by dragging the boy into deeper water and possibly out to the nearby open ocean.
A massive search is underway and four members of the NT water police flew east from Darwin on Sunday morning.
They join officers from the Nhulunbuy police station, about 80 kilometres north of the attack site, as well as local sea rangers.
A police spokesman said the search would continue on Monday but grave fears were held for the boy.
“Not too many people come away from a crocodile attack, I’m afraid,” he said.
The latest attack comes after a seven-year-old girl was taken by a crocodile while she was swimming at a local waterhole in the NT last month.
The girl was at the Gumarrirnbang outstation, 100km west of the remote community of Maningrida, when she was taken on November 17.
A three-metre crocodile was shot dead in the billabong the next day and human remains were found inside. — AAP