Australian police find body of man taken by croc

Australian police find body of man taken by croc

SYDNEY - Police on Monday recovered the body of a man taken by a large crocodile in northern Australia with rangers confident they have killed the animal responsible.

Sean Cole, 26, was snatched on Saturday in front of at least 15 traumatised onlookers as he swam with a friend across a muddy river that has one of the highest densities of saltwater crocodiles in the world.

Northern Territory police senior constable Wade Rodgers said his body was found early Monday in the area where he was last seen.

"Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time," he said.

Witnesses had recounted seeing the animal, believed to be nearly five metres (16 feet) long, swimming upriver with his body in its jaws.

Cole had been celebrating a friend's 30th birthday on Saturday at the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) from the city of Darwin, when he decided to plunge into the water. His friend survived.

The Northern Territory News said a survey three weeks ago recorded four crocodiles over four metres in the area and 10 to 12 measuring more than three metres.

Parks and Wildlife Ranger Tom Nichols said four crocs had been shot, including the one believed to be responsible for the attack.

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