When commercial croc hunting was banned in the NT, two ex-hunters put down their guns and began taking visitors on tours along the Adelaide River, just east of Darwin, to admire the local residents: crocodiles.
Almost as soon as these tours depart, crocodiles begin to approach the boat. But they're not interested in the tourists. These crocs learnt a long time ago that these boat cruises mean a free feed. In fact, according to experts, crocodiles are remarkably quick learners.
Far away from the cruise boats on the Adelaide River, researchers are discovering even more surprising facts about these giant reptiles, such as the variety of noises they use to communicate with each other. But one remarkable story offers perhaps the biggest surprise of all: Pocho, the croc proved that even crocodiles can respond to an act of kindness, when he befriended a Costa Rican man, who nursed him back to health after a painful gunshot wound left him blind in one eye.
The Federal Government is considering a proposal by the Northern Territory Government to trial the commercial hunting of crocodiles.
Under the plan the lives of 50 saltwater crocodiles would be essentially sold to the highest bidder for 'thrill kills', every year. While the Northern Territory already has a 'crocodile management' program, opening up this slaughter to amateur shooters exposes these animals to terrible cruelty. There is absolutely no conservation benefit whatsoever to allowing crocodiles to be hunted for trophies, nor is it a way to control 'problem' crocs.
Australia's international reputation is already tarnished by the commercial slaughter of other native animals. Introducing 'safari hunting' of crocodiles would only reinforce the idea that our native animals are there to be shot rather than admired.
Without your voice, this awful proposal might go ahead. Call on the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke to guarantee that he will not allow 'safari hunting' of crocodiles in the NT.