Crocodile shot dead after killing girl, 12, in Australia

A 14-foot long crocodile has been shot dead after killing a 12-year-old girl in Australia.

The huge reptile, believed to be at least 30 years old, attacked the girl as she was swimming with her family last week, leading to efforts by rangers to hunt it down.

Her death was the first fatal crocodile attack in the Northern Territory since 2018 and has rekindled debate on whether more should be done to curb the crocodile population.

It is estimated that there is currently one crocodile for every 2.5 people in the region and the protected species has encroached on human populations in the area.

Wildlife rangers had been attempting to trap or shoot the crocodile since the girl was attacked last week in Mango Creek near Palumpa.

They shot the animal on Sunday after getting permission from the region's traditional landowners. Saltwater crocodiles are considered a totem by many indigenous Australians.

Police said analysis had confirmed the animal was the one that killed the girl.

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Senior sergeant Erica Gibson said: "The events of last week have had a huge impact on the family and local police are continuing to provide support to everyone impacted."

The girl's death came weeks after the Northern Territory approved a 10-year plan to contain croc numbers, lifting the rate of culling near human habitat from 300 to 1,200 a year.

The Northern Territory government said after the latest fatality that crocs could not be allowed to outnumber humans