Monster croc trapped in NT outback, big as a car but with teeth

LUCKY FIND: Parks and Wildlife rangers John Burke and Chris Heydon have been on the hunt for this 4.7 metre monster saltie for a decade.
LUCKY FIND: Parks and Wildlife rangers John Burke and Chris Heydon have been on the hunt for this 4.7 metre monster saltie for a decade.

A decade-long hunt to catch the Katherine region’s biggest crocodile has ended in triumph.

A male saltwater croc measuring 4.71 metres long – as long as the average family car – was trapped by rangers on Monday.

A smaller 2.37 metre crocodile was also pulled out of the Katherine River in the same area, about 60km downstream of the centre of Katherine.

Rumours of a large dark tail often spotted near the boat ramp, 60km downstream from the High Level Bridge, at Taylors Park Boat Ramp has had rangers on the hunt for a decade. 

NT Parks and Wildlife rangers Chris Heydon and John Burke said it was very unusual to capture a croc this big in the Katherine River system. 

“We average a 4.2 metre croc most years, but never this big,” ranger Burke said.  

Rangers observed three large crocodiles during aerial surveys in May. 

Traps went in two weeks ago and the biggest was the first to be hit, ranger Burke said. 

“Capturing more crocs downstream makes it less likely we’ll find any closer to the Katherine town,” he said. 

Rangers said the 600 kilogram croc, who might be over 60 years old, was not as difficult to trap as one would think. 

“When they are this big we just sedate them, so there is no chance of us getting chomped,” ranger Heydon said. 

The capture reinforces warnings to be Crocwise.

GOTCHA: Rangers caught two saltwater crocodiles on Monday.

GOTCHA: Rangers caught two saltwater crocodiles on Monday.