australian crocodile
The crocodile that stalked and lunged at people in the Australian town of Bulla. Credit: Northern Territory Police

A Crocodile Terrorized an Australian Town, So They Had a ‘Traditional’ Feast

About a year ago, a saltwater crocodile followed some flood waters and washed up in a river near the town of Bulla in Australia's Northern Territory. Since then, the croc has spent its days stalking and lunging kids and adults and even killed a few dogs. But this week, the community was finally able to do something about it.

In Wednesday's announcement, the Northern Territory Police said that officers and wildlife rangers caught the 12-foot crocodile in a trap about 250 meters from a residential area. Then, they shot and killed it. Believing it posed a "significant risk," they said they decided to kill the croc with the townspeople. Then, they "prepared it for a feast in the traditional manner."

What is a traditional feast?

Northern Territory Police Sgt. Andrew McBride described the feast to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He said the animal was "cooked up into crocodile tail soup, he was on the barbecue, a few of the pieces were wrapped up in banana leaves and cooked underground." He added: "It was a rather large traditional feast and there were a few full bellies."

According to reports, there are an estimated 100,000 crocodiles in the Northern Territory's Top End, home to Australia's Kakadu National Park. However, due to widespread flooding earlier in the year, crocodiles have been washing up all over. So there might be quite a few "traditional" feasts this year.

With that, Kristen Hay, operations director for the Department of Environment, said "any body of water in the Top End may contain large and potentially dangerous crocodiles." She added: "That's why we urge everyone to Be Crocwise and only swim where there are designated swimming signs."

The expression "be crocwise" is much like "be bear aware" in the U.S. So if you spend anytime in croc country, you should understand the animal's behavior and habits and largely try to avoid it.