Australian rangers capture massive crocodile after 8-year search

Wildlife rangers in northern Australia captured a massive 1,300 pound crocodile after first spotting it nearly a decade ago.

The crocodile, estimated to be more than 60 years old, was found lurking near a boat ramp in the Katherine River. At 15.45 feet, the croc is the longest-ever trapped in the region.

The previous record holder was a 15.09-foot-long croc captured in 2011.

Though the average saltwater crocodile is about 17 feet long, according to National Geographic, captures of this size are rare, park authorities said.

Wildlife rangers in the North Territory captured a mammoth crocodile Monday. (North Territory Parks and Wildlife Services)

Wildlife officials have been searching for the crocodile since it was first spotted in 2010, according to Tracey Duldig, the acting director of Wildlife Operations in the Northern Territory. They sought to capture and isolate it so in order to prevent it from “interacting with humans.”

The reptile will now “be taken to a croc farm in the Katherine region,” she said.

Saltwater crocodiles, affectionately referred to as salties, can be spotted throughout the Northern Territory.

The captured crocodile was tightly bound to the cart. Its eyes were covered and mouth muzzled. (North Territory Parks and Wildlife Services)

So far this year, 187 of them have been captured in the Top End — the northernmost part of the Northern Territory, according to the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife website, which advises visitors to be “crocwise.”

“Croc danger is real. Do not become complacent or risk your life,” it warns.