- By Tiffanie Turnbull
- BBC News, Sydney
The body of an Australian man who disappeared while fishing with friends has been found inside a crocodile.
Kevin Darmody was last seen at Kennedy’s Bend – home to the famous saltwater crocodile in a remote part of northern Queensland – on Saturday.
After two days of searching the area, police exterminated two large crocodiles and found human remains.
The body has yet to be officially identified, but police say it is a “tragic end” to the search for the 65-year-old man.
Mr. Darmody is an experienced fisherman and a well-known member of the Cape York community.
Two alligators, 4.1 meters (13.4 ft) and 2.8 meters long, were shot dead on Monday about 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from where they were last seen.
Human remains were found inside only one of the reptiles, but wildlife officials believe both are involved.
Fishermen who were with Mr Darmody at the time did not see the attack, but said they heard him scream, followed by a loud crash of water.
“I ran down… but there was no sign of him, just his sandals on the shore and nothing else,” said his friend John Peiti. told Cape York Weekly.
Crocodiles are very common in tropical northern Australia, but are rarely attacked. Mr Darmody’s death was only the 13th fatal attack in Queensland since record keeping began in 1985.
Since the ban was imposed in 1974, Queensland’s crocodile population has rebounded from a low of around 5,000 to around 30,000 today.
A 2019 report found that an average of 1.7 adult crocodiles lived in every kilometer of river surveyed.
Under Queensland’s management programme, “problematic crocodiles” are removed from areas where they pose a threat to public safety and, in rare cases, euthanized.
These numbers are dwarfed by Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), home to the world’s largest population of wild crocodiles out of some 100,000 reptile species.
Despite advertising campaigns to “catch alligators” around rivers, there have been 1-2 deaths from crocodile attacks on average in the Territory each year since 2005, but none have occurred. out since 2018.
Additional reporting by Tom Housden