Will Wangi Falls attack prove the tipping point in croc cull debate?

Published: July 12, 2023

It seems that the crocodile attack on a 67-year-old man in the NT’s Litchfield National Park may prove to be a tipping point in the ongoing debate over culling,

Following the incident at Wangi Falls on Monday, which left a man in hospital with injuries to his arm and back, the Territory’s Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, has said a conversation ‘needs to be had’ over the issue.

The two-metre-long saltwater crocodile involved in the incident has since been shot by park rangers.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Ms Fyles said the NT’s crocodile population had grown from around 3,000 to 100,000 since culling ceased in the 1970s.

She said she would now be formally writing to the Commonwealth about the whole culling issue.

The NT News reports that Ms Fyles said programs were in place around management through egg collection, and there were rangers that undertook patrols.

“But I think it’s time for us to consider, ‘do we need to go back to culling’?” she said. “It’s extremely scary and it does have an impact … we’ve got crocodiles looking for different areas and so they’re pushing further into spaces where they perhaps haven’t been before.”

Ms Fyles said the rise in crocodile numbers was affecting traditional owners, locals, and tourists.

It is understood there were around 80 people in the water at Wangi Falls when the crocodile attack took place on Monday.

Director of Northern Australian Parks for the NT’s Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security, Dean McAdams, said Wangi Falls would remain closed for at least three more days to allow rangers to monitor the area for crocodiles.

“At the end of three nights, if there’s no more sightings then we can reopen,” Mr McAdams told ABC Radio yesterday morning.

He said rangers had not yet figured out how the crocodile made it into the pool.

Last week, another popular waterhole at Bitter Springes near Mataranka was closed after a saltwater crocodile was seen in the water.

  • Do you think it is time culling was re-introduced to reduce crocodile numbers? Comment below.

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There will always be a “debate” about Croc culling..!
I first lived in the Top End just after Croc culling was finished..
For many years after at almost every water hole you only had to clap your hands sharply and every Croc in the vicinity would bolt or hi tail it away..they were very aware and evasive of humans or anything that sounded like gun shot fire.
Let off a firecracker in the camp near a billabong and you could swim and fish safely for a few days..
Another way we would test a water hole before swimming on a hot day after chasing pigs was to send all the dogs in for a swim, wait ten minutes, then all jump into the water…but we never lost a dog to a Croc..and no one was taken or bitten.
Some serious and different management techniques need to be employed rather that just capturing and farming them.. All the Croc farms are choccas and overpopulated yet they are still capturing hundreds every year in human populated locations.
But the big nobs in high office are swayed by the minority and frightened of making solid and sensible decisions.
Safe travels.

I’d like to see the Prime Minister and his parliament members do a tour of the Top End. Perhaps that would open their eyes. As u said Pat, give the Locals a chance to have a lucrative industry culling the crocs.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bev

Like the early settlers and the Koalas and Phylestene. They had a lucrative industry too.

Letting the dogs swim first then counting them before people went in was common when I visited Darwin many years ago, I always give any waterway a wide berth as you can’t assume there will be only freshies.

Yes, give local indigenous people licenses to cull crocs for a profit and to get the numbers back where they should be.

Hey, Roy, can you say, at what Level { Number wise! } should the Crocodile be culled to. again, I say the Crocodile hasbeen in Austrlia for Thousnds of years, just be barefull and controll them, if at possible.

“Thousands of years” Is long enough,you’ve had a good run, time to go extinct.

Simple answer is just to absolutely eradicate any living thing that that may harm a human. We are such a huge assett to the earth that humans must be protected at any cost! Nuke mother nature and let the idiots in society multiply. Until we have wiped out all dangerous things we will not be safe. Pity that the biggest and most dangerous threat to man is man himself. Strange how the blackfellas live and work with nature while the whiteman wants to destroy and control every facet of it.

Last edited 7 months ago by IAN DICKINSON

Yre a bit off the mark..its all about balance..between humans and nature..!

Australia’s indigenous people used to hunt crocs for food which did impact their numbers. It’s hard to say how they interacted with crocs in pre-colonial days as we don’t have that data, but I wouldn’t be surprised that they selectively culled large crocs to ensure that vital water sources were still available to them, whilst the smaller crocs could still co-inhabit those water sources. That’s just my view as I don’t have any data to support that preposition.

X2 !!!

No i believe, just like the 1St Nation’s People, knew how to live with the Crocodile, ( which has been in this Country for thousands )and also used them as a Food Scource, so I say { if you go in the Waters in the N.T. & Nth Qld / even down tas low as Bundaberg, have a Look out Posted, and U may nd only may, then see the Crocodile before it attacks, it is their Domain, so just take care.

Most definitely, crocs should culled. Kangaroos are culled and they are harmless. Since culling of crocs stopped, there have been lots of attacks. We have croc farms, so I don’t see the need for so many in a natural enviroment.

They should be patroled, and be relocated if need be.

Shoot all crocks, sharks, dingoes, snakes and anything that we don’t like till we can roam uninhibited Au wide. Doesn’t matter if they were/are indigenous – they are all pests and dangerous.

Just as well that South Africa doesn’t have a kill ’em all attitude. Who would go to SA if there were no crocks, big cats, hippos etc etc?
Manage the people and let nature manage the animals. Tourists come to see our wildlife here too!

Yes I believe in culling it can be done simpler to the American swamp area where you are paid to catch or are charged to catch the crocs with the money going back to conservation of wild animals

Game Licence / Tags to shooters wanting that ‘big game ‘ experience,,, there’s a buck to be made there.. has the NT Gov thought about that?

Yep, the tag system is workable, where it can be used to keep track of numbers taken and apply conservation measures accordingly. There’s an opportunity there that’s been going begging for years. Mind you, I wouldn’t consider using the firearm at the head of this article.. it’s an air rifle! And if the WA government and police have their way, the recreational shooting community will be confined to punching holes in paper at shooting ranges for the rest of eternity. I’m sure that would please the nay-sayers, sort of. Fair chance feral- and pest-culling in WA will be confined to fee-charging professionals in future. Happy Days, farmers and pastoralists! And good careful travelling, folks.

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