Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Teenager attacked by crocodile during flood evacuations in Australia

Floods have prompted emergency evacuations of about 700 people from remote communities

Stuti Mishra
Friday 03 March 2023 09:27 GMT
Severe winds damage sails and boats at Australia Sail Grand Prix

A teenager has been bitten by a crocodile in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) while being evacuated from floods that have hit remote parts of the region.

The 17-year-old boy suffered bites on the back of his leg after he was attacked while leaving a remote community, according to local media reports.

The teenager is a resident of the Dagaragu area and was taken to a local clinic in Kalkarindji for treatment, a local resident told ABC Radio.

“Good thing it wasn’t a really big one, it was a small one, but they’re now treating him for the bite at the clinic,” the resident, Rob Roy, was quoted saying to ABC’s NT Country Hour.

It was reportedly a small crocodile but the teenager suffered a deep bite.

The floods have prompted emergency evacuations of about 700 people from remote communities in the Victoria Daly Region to Darwin, via Katherine. The Australian Defence Force has been called in to help remote areas hit by floods after heavy rainfall.

NT government minister Chansey Paech said that 35 people with medical needs were among the evacuees. He also said that Defence Australia had provided three planes, two C130s and one C27, to fly evacuees to Katherine, referring to a town in the NT.

Residents of the community of Daguragu were evacuated to the nearby community of Kalkarindji, according to the Victoria Daly Regional council.

Crocodiles are a common sight in rivers, waterways, and even urban areas in the NT region. Crocodiles are known to be more active during the wet season when water levels rise, and heavy rain and flooding can displace them from their usual habitats.

“There are a lot of water holes which we normally swim in... around those communities, but just really reminding people with this, we don’t know where those big crocs have got to,” said Mr Paech, referring to the added risk of crocodiles during major floods.

Evacuated people will be housed at a former Covid quarantine facility, Howard Springs, and children will be able to attend local schools, officials said.

The Victoria River reached a height of 14m at Kalkarindji, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, but was now falling.

The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission advises people to be aware of crocodiles at all times, especially when near water. They recommend staying well away from the water’s edge, not standing on logs or branches overhanging the water, and not entering the water at night or in low-light conditions.

Crocodiles are a protected species in the Northern Territory, and it is illegal to harm, disturb or interfere with them without a permit. The Parks and Wildlife Commission also advises people to report all crocodile sightings to their local wildlife ranger or police.

The NT government has declared an emergency for four remote areas this week as the upper Victoria River reached major flood levels. Emergency controller Daniel Bacon has urged people to stay away from roads to remote communities that remain cut off.

“We continue to remind everyone that if it’s flooded, forget it,” he said.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in