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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Fatal Encounter: Body of Missing Fisherman Found inside Crocodile

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QUEENSLAND, Australia – A devastating discovery has been made in northern Queensland where the remains of a missing Australian fisherman were found inside a crocodile.

Kevin Darmody, 65, disappeared on Saturday, April 29, 2023 while fishing with friends at Kennedy’s Bend, a remote area known for its saltwater crocodile population.

Following a two-day search operation, police euthanized two large crocodiles and discovered human body parts within one of them. The tragic outcome marked the end of the search for Mr. Darmody, whose formal identification process is underway. He was a seasoned fisherman and a respected member of the Cape York community.

The crocodiles, measuring 4.1 meters (13.4 ft) and 2.8 meters in length, were killed on Monday, approximately 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from where Darmody was last seen. Although human remains were found in only one of the reptiles, wildlife officers suspect both played a role in the incident.

The fishermen accompanying Mr Darmody at the time did not witness the attack but heard him shout, followed by a loud splash.

John Peiti, a friend of the victim, recounted the harrowing moments to the Cape York Weekly: “I raced down… but there was no sign of him, just his thongs [flip-flops] on the bank and nothing else.”

Crocodile attacks in Australia’s tropical north are rare, with Darmody’s death marking the 13th fatal incident in Queensland since 1985. Recent years have seen similar fatalities, including a fisherman killed on Hinchinbrook Island in 2021 and attacks in the state’s far north in 2017 and 2016.

Queensland’s crocodile population has grown to around 30,000 since a 1974 hunting ban, with a 2019 report estimating an average of 1.7 adult crocs per kilometer of surveyed river. The state’s management program removes “problem crocodiles” that pose threats to public safety and, in rare cases, euthanizes them.

Despite efforts to educate the public about being “crocwise,” Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) sees an average of 1-2 crocodile attack-related deaths per year, although none have occurred since 2018.

The NT is home to the world’s largest wild crocodile population, with an estimated 100,000 reptiles.


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