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A 17 foot crocodile, considered to be one of the biggest ever seen on Queensland, Austrailia, has been found shot dead. Crocodile experts fear its killing may lead other crocodiles to become more aggressive as young males fight for supremacy as alpha-croc.
According to The Guardian, police and state environmental officers are currently investigating the shooting of the large animal, who was found with a bullet in its head in the Fitzroy river in Rockhampton on Thursday. The crocodile was then taken to Koorana Crocodile Farm, where it will be buried once a necropsy is carried out.
The owner of the farm claims that a crocodile of this size hasn’t been caught in Queensland in almost 30 years.
Michael Joyce, the Southern Wildlife Operations Director at Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, said the remaining male crocodiles may act more hostile until they decide who is the next true Alpha.
“They don’t necessarily become more aggressive with outsiders,” Joyce said “But we would expect people to be croc-wise in croc country and be extra vigilant. The whole thing could be over in 24 hours; at other times, it could take months to see a slight move in the population.”
Joyce also estimated that the crocodile could have been anywhere from 80 to 100 years old.
9News reports that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering a $5000 reward for any information that “leads to the conviction of the person responsible for killing the monster reptile”.