Australian authorities were in for a shock after finding human remains inside a crocodile while they were searching for a missing fisherman in Queensland.
Andrew Heard, 69, set out to fish near Hinchinbrook Island last week but didn’t return.
Investigators have since found human remains in the area and inside a 13.8-foot crocodile, police said over the weekend.
The crocodile was caught and killed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES), which also killed a 10-foot crocodile as part of the investigation, the agency tweeted Monday.
“At this stage we can only confirm that we’ve found human remains in the first,” Acting Inspector Andrew Cowie of Queensland Police said at a press conference on Monday, explaining that the examination process has not been completed on the second crocodile.
Both animals were found in the area where Heard was believed to have been fishing, said Cowie, and the characteristics of the second crocodile are consistent with being involved in the incident.
“I believe that we’ve got the two crocodiles involved,” he said.
Cowie underlined that people need to take precautions.
“This is a tragic incident,” he said, calling on people to be alert.
“It’s very important that people are always aware of their circumstances,” he said.
“Anywhere in the north… if you’re in the bush you have snakes and if you’re on the water you have crocodiles.”
Crocodile attacks are rare in Australia, but Queensland officials often run a public safety campaign to alert residents to the risks of swimming or relaxing near croc-infested waters.
At the end of January this year, a man escaped from a crocodile that had bitten his head by prizing open its jaws with his bare hands.
In 2019, a Queensland fisherman narrowly escaped an attack by poking a crocodile in the eye.
In September 2020, a massive 14-foot crocodile was captured at a tourist spot in neighbouring Northern Territory.