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Australian Boy Feared Dead After Crocodile Attack

A 12-year-old boy is missing after his friends say he was attacked by a crocodile in an Australian National Park.
Posted at 8:46 AM, Jan 27, 2014

A 12-year-old boy in Australia has been missing since Sunday and is feared dead after he and his friends were attacked by a crocodile while swimming. 

"It's thought he was snatch by a four meter saltwater crocodile, moments earlier it had mauled another 12-year-old boy who suffered deep bite wounds as he found off the large reptile and managed to escape."  (Via BBC)

The boy who escaped was treated and is now home with family. He and the other boys who witnessed the incident have been aiding authorities by recounting what they saw. (Via Sky News

Wildlife officials are searching the area for the missing boy and shoot-to-kill orders have been given for any croc bigger than 10 feet. So far they have killed two of the animals. (Via WFLA)

One officer helping in the search told The Telegraph, "One [14 feet]; one [15 feet]. We've since had a look at both crocodiles and neither of them had anything in their stomachs." 

Crocodile attacks are relatively rare in Australia but as The Independent points out, they have steadily risen over the past few decades.   

That's because a federal law enacted in 1971 prohibits the killing of the animal and since then their numbers have spiked throughout the continent. (Via The Independent

 

 

And where the attack happened, Kakadu National Park, is one of the most densely populated crocodile habitats and it's also a popular tourist attraction. (Via Google Earth

"There was an incident about a year ago where another teenager had to fight off a 5 meter saltwater crocodile in the same creek. So it's obviously a bit of a dangerous spot." (Via ABC Australia

According to theDaily Mirror, in the past year 13 people in Australia have been killed by the reptile, including six children. 
 

Police are searching day and night and have implemented the help of helicopters in the search for the missing boy.