A big saltwater crocodile, estimated to be half a century old, was fished out of the Katherine River yesterday.
He's the sixth saltie to be captured from the Katherine management zone this year, following a record-breaking 2018 which saw 23 trapped and removed.
Rangers said the 4.4 metre saltie was rock star ready for a tour of local schools today.
He was old but placid and chubby from a regular diet of fish, pigs and maybe even cows.
He was trapped about 60km downstream of Katherine.
"He was an ideal croc for a school show and tell," senior ranger John Burke said.
Students at Clyde Fenton Primary School scored an up close look at the saltie this afternoon as the rangers reinforced their Crocwise message.
"Most kids don't realise how big and dangerous crocodiles are, but we do a school run every year so we are slowly building a generation of Crocwise kids," ranger Burke said.
"When I first started (19 years ago), if we caught six in a year, that was a lot, but last year we got up to 23.
"School talks like these, and messages through the media are important in reinforcing there are more, and because there are more it is ultra important we get the message out."
Rangers are on the trail of six more crocodiles in the management zone, and if caught would bring the year's tally to around just 12.
"The river is so low you can walk down some of it," ranger Burke said.
"This might have restricted them to their breeding ground at the Daly River."
He said it might also have been a case of so many being captured last year.
Crocodile numbers have exploded across the Northern Territory, with populations swelling to more than 100,000.
Their encroaching numbers sparked Katherine's mayor Fay Miller to call for controlled culling last year, after four large salties were caught in the Katherine area in just one week.
Culls have long been a topic of hot debate, dividing the town.
"I understand that some people will say we live in their home, but we're mixing with civilisation now," Mayor Miller said at the time.
"NT Parks and Wildlife rangers are doing a great job at catching and trapping.
"But we went from culling many moons ago to nothing at all and we've seen a significant increase."
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