Crocodile “Trophy Hunting” Plan Turned Down
A controversial plan to allow safari hunters in Australia’s Northern Territory state to kill crocodiles, has been rejected by the federal government in Canberra. This is the latest set back for campaigners demanding a sustained and extensive cull of the many large, Saltwater crocodiles that inhabit water courses in the Northern Territory.
Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said “trophy hunting” would not be appropriate. The proposal, which was backed by the authorities and governors in Northern Territory, would have permitted up to fifty crocodiles to be shot for sport. Currently, around five hundred crocodiles are culled in the region every year.
Those campaigners that put the proposal forward in the first place, argue the plan would bring in much-needed income for some of the indigenous people in the region. The ability to put on such hunts would attract a lot of interest from shooting enthusiasts and this would give the State a considerable boost to its tourist incomes, but Greg Hunt’s decision to reject the plan has angered some Territorians living in some parts of Australia’s remote outback.
Bess Price, Minister for Wildlife and Parks commented:
“Greg Hunt has made a decision which will do nothing to improve the lives of indigenous Territorians living in remote communities.”
Saltwater crocodiles, otherwise known as Estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) can grow to a length in excess of seven metres and large males can weigh more than a tonne. They are responsible for a number of attacks on people, pets and livestock in Australia each year, their numbers having bounced back dramatically since a hunting ban was imposed in 1971. A number of these attacks prove fatal, once these crocodiles are over five feet in length they are regarded as man-eaters. In January, two crocodiles were shot by park rangers as they tried to recover the body of a twelve year old boy that had been attacked. In August of last year, team members from Everything Dinosaur reported on the recovery of the body of a twenty-six year old man who had been killed by a crocodile whilst attempting to swim across the Mary River during a birthday party.