The body of a crocodile attack victim was recovered by police on Monday in the same area where the man was last seen. Authorities also recovered the body of the animal responsible for the attack.
The victim was 26-year-old Sean Cole. He was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a popular campground by the Mary Rive in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Police say that Cole and a friend ignored signs to stay out of the saltwater river and decided to swim across. The BBC reports that the pair were on their way back when Cole was suddenly attacked by the crocodile.
Several of his friends on the bank witnessed the attack. Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert explained of the incident, “Several of the group in the party witnessed the male being taken in the jaws of the croc for a period of time, and then he was out of sight.”
Rangers say that at least four crocodiles were shot in the area after the incident, including the one believed to be responsible for the attack. The Mary River is famous for its crocodile population, according to Bahnert.
ABC News notes that Bahnert added, “You don’t swim in the Mary River.” But it seems that Cole ignored the signs and warnings, swimming into the croc-infested waters.
Police and a government crocodile management team were on the scene on Saturday. Teams also drug the river in search of remains. But Cole’s body was only recovered on Monday after it floated to the surface of the river. The body of the crocodile that was likely responsible for the attack also floated to the surface then.
Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh more than a ton. They are common in Australia’s tropical northern regions. The crocodile that attacked Sean Cole was estimated to be about 16 feet long.
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