A woman was killed by a “problem crocodile” while fishing with her family in a remote stretch of northern Australia.
Police said the woman, an Aboriginal ranger, was attacked as she was waist deep in water. She and her family were collecting mussels in a billabong, a pool of water that can form at a riverbend.
The attack occurred at around 10:30am on Friday at Gan Gan, a remote community in the Northern Territory.
"She was with the group … and the group noticed her missing," said a territory police commander, Tony Fuller.
"They heard some splashing … [and] the bucket that she was carrying was found nearby."
Authorities later found the body of the woman and the crocodile, about a half-mile from where she disappeared. Rangers killed the crocodile.
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A friend of the woman told ABC News that children apparently witnessed the attack and the crocodile was known to local rangers as a "problem" which had defied multiple attempts to capture it.
Australian rivers have the highest density of saltwater crocodiles in the world. The number of deadly attacks has risen in recent years, which is believed to be due to an increase in the crocodile population.
According to the CrocBite website, there have been ten fatal attacks in Australia since 2013. Historically, the average fatality rate has been about a death every two years.
Australian saltwater crocodiles can grow to more than fifteen feet long.Larger specimens will prey on humans, though known danger spots are often marked by warning signs.
Northern Territory’s work safety authority is investigating the incident. Police will also prepare a report for the coroner.