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A crocodile was terrorizing this Australian town. So residents cooked and ate it

The saltwater crocodile had been blamed for devouring pets and chasing children. (Northern Territory Police via CNN Newsource) The saltwater crocodile had been blamed for devouring pets and chasing children. (Northern Territory Police via CNN Newsource)
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A remote Australian community has taken revenge on a massive saltwater crocodile by eating the 3.6-metre (11.8-foot) beast blamed for devouring pets and chasing children.

On Wednesday, police in the town of Bulla in Australia’s Northern Territory shot the crocodile after deeming it a “significant risk to the community.”

In a statement, Northern Territory Police said the predator “had been stalking and lunging out of the water at children and adults” and had “also reportedly taken multiple community dogs.”

In a waste-conscious move, the crocodile was “prepared for a feast in the traditional manner,” police said, but not before authorities took the opportunity to give local children an impromptu “crocodile safety session,” including an “up-close look at the dangers within our waterways.”

Speaking to public broadcaster ABC, Northern Territory Police Sergeant Andrew McBride said the animal was “cooked up into crocodile tail soup, he was on the barbecue, a few of the pieces were wrapped up in banana leaves and cooked underground.”

“It was a rather large traditional feast and there were a few full bellies,” Sergeant McBride said.

Both the saltwater and freshwater crocodile species are protected in Australia, where hunting the animals has been banned by federal law since 1971 – a time when poaching had driven them close to extinction.

Numbers have boomed in the decades since, with the Northern Territory now home to some 100,000 crocodiles, according to the local government.

Thousands more crocodiles are distributed across the north of neighbouring states Queensland and Western Australia.

“Any body of water in The Top End may contain large and potentially dangerous crocodiles,” said government wildlife specialist Kristen Hay, using a colloquial name for the Northern Territory.

The territory’s website notes that saltwater crocodiles can grow to six metres (20 feet), weigh up to a ton and “will eat just about anything.”

That means interactions between crocodiles and humans can be fatal, and park rangers across northern Australia remove hundreds of saltwater crocodiles from populated areas each year.

In April, a 16-year-old boy was killed by a crocodile in northern Queensland while attempting to swim to shore after his boat broke down. Last year, the remains of a 64-year-old fisherman were recovered from inside a crocodile, also in Queensland.

A nine-year-old boy was lucky to survive a crocodile attack in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park in January, after being hospitalized with “puncture wounds.”

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