Australian rangers trap enormous saltwater crocodile after decade-long hunt, officials say

The captured crocodile was tightly bound to the cart. Its eyes were covered and mouth muzzled

A smaller crocodile, measuring nearly eight feet, was also captured, according to the newspaper.

An elusive monster crocodile - that evaded wildlife authorities for almost a decade - was finally captured, officials announced on Tuesday. At the gorge there are freshwater crocodiles, which are smaller and rarely harm humans. Mid-year is the peak tourist season.

It was estimated to be about 60 years old, but it is the reptile's size that is shocking - measuring more than 15 feet (4.5 metres) long (the average length of a car) and weighing more than 1,300 pounds (590 kilograms) (which is more than a grand piano), according to the Katherine Times.

"We've called it a lot of things over the years because it's been so hard to catch", senior wildlife officer John Burke told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"He has been taken to a croc farm in the Katherine region".

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The 4.7-metre male saltwater croc was caught in the Katherine River in the Northern Territory on Monday afternoon.

So far this year, 187 of them have been captured in the Top End - the northernmost part of the Northern Territory, according to the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife website, which advises visitors to be "crocwise". It was caught and killed in 1974, also in the Northern Territory. Webb said that areas where saltwater crocodiles are the most sparse can be the most risky.

"They were surprised because it's unusual to find a croc of his size in that area", she said.

"It's worrying, but it's good that they've got an active program and they've got active traps", Webb said.

Because saltwater crocodiles can live up 70 years and grow throughout their lives, reaching up to 7 meters (23 feet), the proportion of large crocodiles is also rising.

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