A mother was snatched by a crocodile and eaten while fishing with her children in Australia, a horrific death that has garnered worldwide headlines.
The incident took place in Australia’s remote Northern Territory, where police say the woman and her family were fishing and collecting mussels by the shore of a lake. As the New York Post reported, the woman’s family noticed after some time that she had gone missing and the bucket she was carrying was dropped nearby.
The family called for help, but the area of Australia is so sparsely populated that it took police three hours to reach the lake. By that time, the woman had disappeared. It took the search party more than seven hours after she first went missing to find the woman’s body, nearly half a mile away from the lake.
Some reports claimed that the woman was a park ranger, though it was not clear if she was working at the time of the crocodile attack.
The woman’s death garnered worldwide headlines and condolences from local officials.
“Any death is traumatic, our thoughts are with family and relatives,” said police commander Tony Fuller (via The Guardian).
The region is a particularly dangerous one for crocodile attacks, with 15 people killed between 2005 and 2014, the report noted. Last year, another man was killed by a crocodile in the territory while crossing a waterway.
Crocodile attacks have been a problem across Australia as well. A report this summer noted that officials in north Queensland had removed 84 “problem” crocodiles from coastal waters near Townville and Port Douglas, the Australian Associated Press reported.
The removal of the animals was part of a three-year management plan to respond to the growing number of crocodiles while also cracking down on the illegal hunting of the animals. Three people were prosecuted for unlawful crocodile deaths as a result of the program.
Officials said the plan was to take better precautions from crocodile attacks and better understand the population living in that part of Australia. The program included a survey of local river systems, with officials counting 684 crocodiles.
“Once the results from the crocodile monitoring program are fully analyzed, they will allow us to review our overall approach to crocodile management and how best to communicate about how to stay croc-wise in croc country,” said State environment minister Leeanne Enoch.
Australia has also tried to crack down on tourist interactions with crocodiles, especially in the wake of a viral video showing a tourist sitting on the back of a giant croc.
The crocodile that killed the mother in Australia was located and destroyed, local police said.