Four-meter crocodile euthanized after boy’s body found

A huge crocodile believed to be responsible for a fatal attack on a 16-year-old boy in the Torres Strait has been euthanized.

Conservationists began a search for the reptile on Thursday afternoon after the teenager’s body was found on a remote island in far north Queensland.

The teenager and a 13-year-old boy had tried to swim ashore when their dinghy broke down 500 meters off Saibai Island, 900 kilometers north of Cairns.

The boys had almost reached shore and were in waist-deep water when the 16-year-old suddenly disappeared.

The shocked 13-year-old made it to land and raised the alarm, prompting an extensive sea, land and air search.

The 16-year-old’s body was found 12 hours later in mangroves on the island with injuries consistent with an attack by a crocodile measuring at least 3.5 meters in size.

After the local community called for the animal to be removed, conservationists found a four-metre crocodile the next day near the area where they believed the boy had been killed.

“The animal exhibited parading behavior, such as raising its head while swimming, consistent with it being the target animal,” said a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Science and Innovation.

“The crocodile was humanely euthanized and disposed of at sea on April 20, in accordance with the wishes of the Saibai Island community.”

DESI said community members had expressed their appreciation for the quick response.

“The Ministry of Environment, Science and Innovation extends its sincere condolences to the friends, family and community of Saibai Island.”

The 16-year-old’s mother set up a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $14,000 by late Monday.

The mother of nine said her beloved son would be remembered as a “very humble, kind-hearted young lad”.

The 16-year-old was also a “very athletic person” who enjoyed playing rugby league.

“Always smiling and eager to help anyone who crossed his path,” the mother wrote on the GoFundMe page.

“I humbly seek help to help my children and me through this difficult time.

“Any contribution is greatly appreciated. My family and I humbly thank you all.”