Missing Australian fisherman’s body found in crocodile

The remains of an Australian man who vanished while fishing with friends have been found inside a crocodile.

Kevin Darmody was last seen at Kennedy’s Bend – a well-known saltwater crocodile habitat in a remote part of northern Queensland – on Saturday.

After a two-day search of the area, police euthanised two large crocodiles and found human body parts.

The remains are yet be identified, but police said it was a “tragic ending” to the search for the 65-year-old.

Mr Darmody was an experienced fisherman and a well-known member of the community in Cape York.

The two crocodiles, which measured 4.1m (13.4 ft) and 2.8m in length, were shot dead on Monday about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from where he was last seen.

Human remains were found inside only one of the reptiles, but wildlife officers believe both were involved in the incident.

The fishermen with Mr Darmody at the time did not see the attack, but reported hearing him yell, followed by a loud splash.

“I raced down… but there was no sign of him, just his thongs [flip-flops] on the bank and nothing else,” his friend John Peiti told the Cape York Weekly.

Crocodiles are common in Australia’s tropical north, but attacks are rare. Mr Darmody’s death is just the 13th fatal attack in Queensland since record-keeping began in 1985.

In 2017, an elderly woman who went missing in Port Douglas was thought to have been killed by a crocodile. The year before, a woman was attacked and killed by a crocodile in Daintree National Park.

Since a ban on hunting in 1974, Queensland’s crocodile population has rebounded from a low of some 5,000 animals to around 30,000 today.

A 2019 report suggested an average of 1.7 adult crocs living in each kilometre of river surveyed.

Under Queensland’s management programme, “problem crocodiles” are removed from areas where they threaten public safety and, in rare instances, euthanised.

Those numbers are dwarfed by Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), which is home to the world’s largest wild crocodile population of some 100,000 reptiles.

Despite publicity campaigns to be “crocwise” around rivers, there was an average of 1-2 deaths from crocodile attacks in the Territory each year from 2005, but none have occurred since 2018.