Australians call for crocodile culling to prevent fatalities

The local population have sought selective culling and large-scale removal of the dangerous reptiles to prevent human fatalities.

A saltwater crocodille basking in the sun in Kimberley in this file photo. With the population of crocodiles tripling in the last three decades in western Australia, the local population have sought selective culling and large-scale removal of these dangerous reptiles to prevent human fatalities. Residents in Kimberley region are seeking to review crocodile management as some locals favour culling of the reptiles.

With the population of crocodiles tripling in the last three decades in western Australia, the local population have sought selective culling and large-scale removal of the dangerous reptiles to prevent human fatalities.

The local population in Kimberley region are seeking to review crocodile management as some locals seeking culling of the reptiles.

Time for removal

Broome Deputy Shire President Harold Tracey said it was time for a large-scale removal of reptiles from waterways around Broome, Derby and Kununurra.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before we do have a fatality, purely from croc numbers and they’re getting a lot more bold,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep in mind we can’t keep putting human life at risk, or putting a crocodile’s life as more important than a human life,” Mr. Tracey said.

Needed: mature debate

Mr. Tracey said the highly divisive debate over shark culling in other parts of Australia showed why a mature, informed debate was needed.

Currently, the Department of Parks and Wildlife only traps and removes or shoots dead a crocodile if it is behaving aggressively in popular fishing or swimming areas.

Culling not for now

East Kimberley district manager Luke Bentley said there were no plans to change the policy.

“There are no plans at this stage for any crocodile cull,” he said.

“The reality of a cull is that even if you remove an animal from a certain location, there’s no guarantee another one would [not] come back into that location.

“Because they are so mobile, it’s a tough one, and you probably would [not] get the solution you are looking for,” he said.

Educating the public

Mr. Bentley said the department’s focus remained on educating the public about the crocodile risk, including signposts and brochures distributed to tour companies that escort tourists to the most high-risk coastal areas.

While, crocodile attacks are said to remain rare in West Australia’s north and there has not been a death recorded since 1987, according to a survey, the population of crocodiles have tripled in the last 30 years in major breeding rivers.

Source: The Hindu

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