Remains of 12-year-old girl found after being attacked and taken by crocodile

Remains of 12-year-old girl found after being attacked and taken by crocodile
Australia’s Northern Territory

(LONDON) — The remains of a missing 12-year-old girl in Australia have been found after she was attacked and taken by a crocodile while swimming in a creek, police said.

The incident took place on Tuesday evening at about 5:30 p.m. local time in the remote community of Palumpa — approximately a seven-hour drive southwest of Darwin with a population of about 400 people — in Australia’s Northern Territory, according to the Northern Territory Police, Fire & Emergency services in a statement released on Wednesday.

“Around 5:30pm last night, police received reports of a missing 12-year-old child who was last seen swimming at Mango Creek,” authorities said. “Initial reports stated the child had been attacked by a crocodile. Community members and Peppimenarti Police attended the scene and began searching for the child, who has yet to be located.”

A search and rescue team was immediately deployed into the area with officers from Wadeye assisting but, several hours later, the remains of the 12-year-old girl were found, according to a statement released by the Northern Territory Police.

“Northern Territory Police have located remains near Palumpa believed to be that of a missing 12-year-old child,” authorities said. “The child was reportedly attacked by a crocodile in Mango Creek on Tuesday 2 July 2024. An extensive search effort was mounted in an effort to locate the child. Senior Sergeant Erica Gibson said ‘this is devastating news for the family, the community and everyone involved in the search. Police are providing support to the family and community, along with the first responders who attended the scene.’”

The Northern Territory is home to the world’s largest wild crocodile population, with more than 100,000 of the predators in the wild, according to Australia’s Northern Territory tourism website.

“If you’ve ever wanted to see a crocodile in the wild, the NT is the best place in the world to do it,” the page reads.

While the crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 1 ton (2,000 pounds), attacks on humans are very rare, though officials warn to steer clear of them.

“They have a taste for fish, but will eat just about anything including cows and buffaloes, wild boar, turtles, birds and crabs,” according to the NT’s tourism website. “Don’t attempt to feed any wild crocodiles during your stay, and don’t swim in any waterway or camp, fish or walk in any area where crocodile hazard signs are posted. The best way to avoid getting hurt is to avoid crocodiles in the wild altogether.”

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