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Crocodile Shot Dead After Attacking Swimming Woman

by : Jess Hardiman on :
Crocodile Shot Dead After Attacking Swimming Woman
Crocodile Shot Dead After Attacking Swimming Woman (Western Australia Tourism/Alamy)

A crocodile has been shot dead after attacking a woman swimming in Western Australia, with authorities having identified it as a ‘problem animal’. 

The 38-year-old woman had been in the water at Butler Cove, Lake Argyle, when the crocodile attacked, leaving her with serious leg injuries. 

ABC News reports she was taken to Kununurra Hospital, but due to the extent of her injuries, was then taken to Broome Regional Hospital, with a WA Country Health spokesperson saying her condition was ‘stable’. 

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The Department of Biodiversity and Conservation said a freshwater crocodile measuring between 2m and 2.5m was seen in the area soon after the attack, and matched the size of the animal that had attacked the woman. 

A freshwater crocodile in the Ord River, Kimberley. Credit: Alamy
A freshwater crocodile in the Ord River, Kimberley. Credit: Alamy

After it approached and interacted with the department’s vessel, staff ‘destroyed’ the crocodile. 

A DBCA spokeswoman said: “Both the behaviour of a crocodile approaching the boat and the events of the previous day is consistent with what staff would identify as a problem animal. 

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“In order to ensure public safety in the popular recreation and swimming area and with consideration to large community events such as the annual Lake Argyle swim taking place this weekend, staff destroyed the animal.” 

According to ABC News, the reptile was shot in Lake Argyle, near Kununurra. 

The lake resort bills itself as the ‘jewel’ of the Kimberley region, with its website saying there are approximately 35,000 freshwater crocodiles in the area. 

Lake Argyle. Credit: Alamy
Lake Argyle. Credit: Alamy
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While the website says it is safe to swim in the man-made freshwater lake, it warns that the crocodiles should not be approached or fed and that 'swimming is totally at your own risk'. 

It says: “Freshwater crocodiles are generally very timid and primarily eat insects and small fish. As with all native wildlife these amazing creatures should be treated with respect and not interfered with. At no time should you attempt to approach or feed Freshwater Crocodiles as this may result in accidental injury to the animal or yourself. 

“The lake is considered safe to swim in, but as always, swimming in Northern Australian waterways is totally at your own risk.” 

The DBCA spokeswoman added: “As with all wild animals, freshwater crocodiles’ behaviour can change if people feed or interact with them. The animals can begin seeking out people as a source of food and start exhibiting dangerous behaviour. The public is reminded not to feed or approach wildlife while recreating in the Kimberley." 

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