UK & World News

  • 19 August 2014, 12:06

Crocodile Called Michael Jackson Kills Man

A fisherman has been killed by a rare 15ft crocodile called Michael Jackson as his wife looked on.

The couple were fishing in a northern Australian river notorious for the deadly predators when the attack happened.

Police say the saltwater crocodile struck when the 57-year-old victim, who has not been named, entered the Adelaide River to untangle his line.

Northern Territory Police duty superintendent Jo Foley said the woman did not see her husband taken, but heard "a scream and then turned around and saw a tail splashing in the water."

Police and wildlife officers found and shot a crocodile - named after the late pop star, because he is half-albino - a few hours after the attack on Monday afternoon.

The man's body was recovered later in the evening.

The victim's wife alerted Tony Blums who runs Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodile Cruises.

He told Sky News: "She drove round to us and I called the police. I told them the spot to go to."

He said the crocodile was well known because of its distinctive colouring.

"It's very unusual to have an albino croc," he said.

"It's sad they had to shoot him. I'm always telling people not to go fishing because the sound of the fish splashing attracts the crocs, who go and take a look and then lurk close by just under the surface."

Rob Marchand, owner of Wallaroo Tours, which runs Jumping Croc cruises across the river from where the man was taken, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "Michael Jackson was one in a million, and unfortunately being an albino would have been picked on by all the others.

"The croc has only been doing what nature intends it to do, and that's survive ... if you're not going to look after yourself, you'll find yourself being eaten."

Thousands of tourists flock to see the crocodiles of Adelaide River each year.

The man was attacked near the Arnhem Highway bridge near where cruise ships show sightseers crocodiles leaping from the water to snatch chicken carcasses suspended from poles.

Police Superintendent Bob Harrison told ABC that the guilty reptile had regularly leapt for chickens dangled from the cruise ships and was well known to operators of the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise.

The fatality is the first in Australia since June, when a 15ft, 5in crocodile snatched a 62-year-old fisherman from his dinghy on the South Alligator River in the Northern Territory.

A 12-year-old boy and 22-year old man were also taken by crocodiles in separate attacks in the region earlier this year.

Crocodile numbers have increased across Australia's tropical north since the species was protected by federal law in 1971.

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