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Crocodile-hunting safaris to become the latest rage in Australia?

April 15, 2009 | 10:22 am


There are African hunting safaris, then there is the Australian version, which, if approved, will involve shooting saltwater crocodiles such as the one pictured above with high-powered rifles.

The country's Northern Territory government has included trophy crocodile hunting as part of a draft management plan. The hunting, it's believed, will create jobs and enterprise for indigenous people.

According to a story in the Australian newspaper, a proposed trial program would allow the killing of 25 crocodiles over the next five years. The crocodiles must measure 10 feet or more, rifles must be .30-caliber or higher, and shots must be to the head and at reasonably close range, to ensure a swift kill.

Geoff Fleming, a partner in Peter Davidson's Arnhem Land Hunting Safaris, told the Australian: "There's real interest out there in croc hunting because there's not too many trophy animals to hit up here; just buffaloes, banteng, pig, goats and a few samba deer.

"This could absolutely succeed, but 25 animals over five years isn't enough. I don't know where they get that figure from; it's silly. We're overrun with them."

There are about 80,000 crocodiles in the region. Naturally, animal rights groups oppose the plan.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A saltwater crocodile emerges from the Adelaide river near Darwin in Australia's north. Credit: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images