Skip to main content

Crocodile attack in Australia: Boy, 12, killed

By Sophie Brown, CNN
updated 3:08 AM EST, Tue January 28, 2014
File photo of saltwater Crocodile, Australia's most dangerous predator.
File photo of saltwater Crocodile, Australia's most dangerous predator.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW Police have found evidence a 12-year-old was killed in a crocodile attack in northern Australia
  • A second boy, 15, was bitten but escaped
  • The crocodile is believed to measure 2.5 to three meters (eight to nine feet) long

(CNN) -- Police have found evidence that "strongly indicates" a 12-year-old boy who was witnessed being snatched by a crocodile in a remote part of Australia was killed in the attack.

"No specifics will be given in relation to the trauma or type of evidence located out of respect for the family," acting police commander Michael White said in a statement Tuesday.

The family of the boy -- who would have returned to school Tuesday after the summer break -- have been informed, a spokeswoman for the Northern Territory police, Rebecca Forrest, told CNN.

"As expected they're grieving," Forrest said. "But the evidence is there that he's deceased."

As search crews continued to gather evidence Tuesday, shoot-to-kill orders remained in place for crocodiles longer than two meters around the small community where the attack occurred.

Three animals have been killed so far, ranging from 2.5 to 4.7 meters in length, Forrest said.

The boy had been swimming with four other children in a water hole near Mudginberri in the Northern Territory's Kakadu National Park on Sunday afternoon, when a saltwater crocodile attacked the group.

One of the boys, aged 15, was bitten by the animal but managed to escape. The crocodile then turned on his friend, aged 12, said police sergeant Stephen Constable.

"The 15-year-old boy was grabbed on his right arm. He started fighting off the croc, and it took him by the left arm; then it let him go and took hold of the 12-year-old boy, and swam off with him."

Police officers and park rangers have been using helicopters and boats to search the area since the attack occurred.

A crocodile expert who examined the first boy's wounds, believed the crocodile was between 2.5 to three meters long (around eight to nine feet), Constable said.

Search crews have also been looking for larger crocodiles that may have attacked the one that took the 12-year-old.

"On occasion a smaller crocodile may take some food, and a bigger crocodile will take it off them," said Constable.

According to local media reports, people had been warned against swimming in the area after a teenager survived an attack by a five-meter-long crocodile in the region in January last year.

Constable said this time of year is particularly dangerous due to seasonal flooding.

Australian boy says kangaroo saved him

Coroner rules dingo to blame for Australian baby's death

CNN's Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT