Australia monster crocodile caught after eight-year hunt

A handout photo from the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife shows the 4.7-meter saltwater crocodile, weighing 600 kilograms, in a trap after being caught after an eight-year hunt, in the Northern Territory town of Katherine. (Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2018
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Australia monster crocodile caught after eight-year hunt

SYDNEY: An elusive monster saltwater crocodile weighing 600 kilograms (1,328 pounds) has finally been caught after an eight-year hunt in Australia, officials said on Tuesday.
The 4.7-meter (15.4-foot) beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010.
Authorities had tried in vain for years to bag the croc, which is estimated to be 60 years old.
“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 broadcaster 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.”
The animal was taken to a crocodile farm to keep it separate from the local human population, said Northern Territory wildlife operations chief Tracey Duldig.
“He is the biggest crocodile ever removed from the Katherine River by the Wildlife Operations Unit,” Duldig said in a statement.
Wildlife rangers capture around 250 “problem crocodiles” each year.
Saltwater crocodiles are a common feature of Australia’s tropical north and kill an average of two people a year.
The crocodile population has exploded since they were declared a protected species in the 1970s, with the killing of an elderly woman last year reigniting calls to curb their numbers.


Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

Updated 19 November 2018
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Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

  • US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors
  • Raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation

HELSINKI: Social media in Finland was ablaze with bemused comments on Monday after US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors.
Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the US president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.
Trump cited the Finnish president as telling him Finns “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things (in the forest), and they don’t have any problem.”
However the Nordic country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Sunday that he had no recollection of raking being mentioned when the pair met in Paris a week ago.
“I told him that Finland is a country covered in forests, but we also have a good warning system and network,” the president said.
Finnish social media users were quick to pile in, describing Trump’s comments as “rake news” and posting pictures of themselves brandishing the garden implement.
By late Sunday, raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation which is 72 percent covered by forests, predominantly of pine, birch and fir.
Meanwhile Yrjo Niskanen, head of emergency preparedness at Finland’s national forest center, said the US president may have been referring to the practice of removing branches and loose material left in the forest after logging.
But he pointed out that this is not done with a rake — and the wood is collected for energy production.
“I’ve never thought before that it could be removed because of the fire risk, that’s not mentioned in any forestry manuals. It’s taken away purely for business reasons,” Niskanen told the Iltalehti newspaper.