Boy (5) eaten by crocodile
The remains of a five-year-old boy who vanished from an Australian river edge were found in a crocodile's belly, police said today.
Jeremy Doble's remains were found in the stomach of a 14ft male crocodile trapped in the flooded Daintree River in north Queensland - an international attraction for ecotourists - near where the boy had vanished on February 8.
Jeremy had been playing with his seven-year-old brother Ryan and their dog behind their family property in a flooded mangrove swamp when he disappeared.
Ryan told police that he saw a crocodile immediately afterwards but did not see an attack.
A 10ft female crocodile was trapped last week but later released after a surgical procedure found no evidence that it had been responsible for the attack.
The killer crocodile, whose stomach contents were similarly examined by a non-lethal surgical procedure, would be sent to a crocodile farm or zoo, the Queensland state government said. It will not be released into the wild.
The victim's parents, who run a crocodile-spotting tourism business, have refused to speak to the press.
The Courier-Mail newspaper reported that the parents asked authorities not to kill the culprit, which was the dominant male in that part of the river.
Crocodiles have been protected by law since 1971 and their numbers in Australia's tropical waters have steadily grown. However authorities are allowed to destroy crocodiles that threaten humans.