September 30, 2014
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Rare albino-headed crocodile kills fisherman in northern Australia

JABIRU, AUSTRALIA (BNO NEWS) — A rare albino-headed crocodile named after Michael Jackson was shot dead Monday after the reptile snatched a man who was out fishing with his wife along a river in northern Australia, emergency services said on Tuesday, just weeks after another fatal attack.

The latest incident happened on late Monday afternoon when a 57-year-old man was fishing with his wife on the bank of the Adelaide River in Australia’s Northern Territory. He was suddenly snatched by the large crocodile when he entered the water to retrieve his line which had become snagged.

“It appears he had entered the water and tragically was taken by a crocodile while retrieving fishing equipment,” a Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services (PFES) spokesperson said. The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. local time but the victim’s wife was not able to notify authorities until just after 6 p.m.

Northern Watch Commander Senior Sergeant Garry Smith said police later recovered the body of the victim, whose identity was not immediately disclosed. “Condolences to the family at this tragic time,” he said. “I thank all those from the attending emergency units for your efforts.”

The victim’s body was located near the crocodile responsible for the attack, after which the 4.5 meter (14-foot, 7-inch)-long reptile was shot and killed by members from the Water Police Section and Rangers from Parks and Wildlife NT. The culprit was identified as a rare and popular albino-headed crocodile which was named after the late ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson, who suffered from a skin condition called vitiligo.

Monday’s attack came just weeks after a 22-year-old man, identified as Travis Costa, was killed by a 2 meter (6-foot, 5-inch)-long crocodile near a beach in the village of Pirlangimpi on Melville Island, which is located off the coast of northern Australia. Crocodiles in Australia have also killed other people over the past year, including a 62-year-old fisherman in June and a 12-year-old boy in January.

Before that, in August 2013, a 26-year-old man was killed by a large saltwater crocodile while swimming in the Mary River near a camping ground in Australia’s Northern Territory. The man, who was celebrating a birthday party, was swimming in a river that is known for having the world’s largest population of saltwater crocodiles.

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