Sterling Archer might breathe a little more easily tonight, because an eight year croc hunt has finally ended.
The thirteen-foot-long, thirteen-hundred-pound colossus had been of some concern to officials in Northern Territory, Australia ever since it eluded tracking in 2010. Luckily, it was found in a trap downstream of the outback town of Katherine and has since been given the Gulliver’s Travels treatment.
Look at this behemoth:
NT Parks and wildlife have caught the biggest croc in Katherine to date. Rangers have been chasing the 4.71 m saltie for 10 years. pic.twitter.com/EfL3JIXhFr— Roxanne Fitzgerald (@rfitz18) July 9, 2018
Viewers will note the unblinking eye of the crocodile, carefully committing to memory every detail of its present captors (and internet gawkers!) to use in its inevitable apex-predator revenge saga.
It’s probably got a long memory, too, since experts pegged the beast at being about sixty years old. We should all be so muscular at that age.
“We have called it a lot of things over the years because it has been so hard to catch,” senior wildlife officer John Burke told ABC. “It is a bit of a thrill, but you’ve also got to admire the size of the animal and how old it is. You’ve got to have a bit of respect for it.” True enough. The animal kingdom is no country for old men.
They need to give him a face and body rubdown with some Gold Bond cream before they release him!— karen (@karenbytheocean) July 10, 2018
The Saltwater Crocodile is the largest reptile on earth, so it’s something of a point of pride for the locals.
this is why we laugh when Americans talk about gators— truly, madly, creeply (@thefourthdegree) July 10, 2018
But naturally, lots of internet commenters saw a tied-up animal and got sad.
Why capture ? It's a marvel only because it was in wild all this while— Mayank Malhotra (@m_malhotra) July 10, 2018
why is it tied and gagged not ok— Andre Mayo (@AndreMayo8) July 10, 2018
I hope they were very nice to it. Crocodiles have been on the planet much longer than humans.— Henry Thompson (@Minwakhi) July 10, 2018
But these crocs kill an average of two people every year, and Wildlife officials are tasked with keeping track of those that get too close to civilization. The cozier a croc gets near humans, the more likely there’ll be an attack.
This is in Australia where croc attacks periodically do occur, usually due to human ignorance or being blazè about the real danger they represent. Crocs in Australia are protected. It will not be killed.— Embrace life (@GrumpyOldeDude) July 10, 2018
For anyone concerned about its welfare, it won’t be killed – the Saltwater Crocodile population has surged in Australia since they were declared a protected species in 1970. Instead, the croc will be taken to a specific crocodile farm away from human populations where wildlife rangers drop off a number of “problem crocodiles” every year.
So less of “a nice farm upstate” where our beloved family pets go when they’re old and more “Shawshank for the World’s Largest And Most Terrifying Reptile”.
The sliver of the internet not cowering in fear managed to eek out one familiar line:
Sleep a little tighter, fellow prey. We might have caught their demigod.