A popular Northern Territory swimming destination has been closed after a crocodile reportedly attacked a swimmer on Sunday afternoon.
Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife confirmed on Sunday that the popular Wangi Falls on the Wangi Creek located within the Litchfield National Park had been closed off to swimmers after an incident.
“Unfortunately a cranky freshwater crocodile has nipped someone at Wangi Falls this afternoon, and as a precaution the lower pool will be closed for swimming until it is removed,” Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife said in a statement shared on Facebook.
“The upper pool, Cascades and nearby Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole are still open for swimming.”
Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife said that while crocs are a normal part of the Northern Territory ecosystem, people need to report them if they are close to swimming areas, in any location signposted as open for swimming, in residential areas such as at Darwin Harbour, Katherine River, Nhulunbuy and Borroloola, as well as if a crocodile is behaving aggressively to people or posing a risk to public safety. Crocodiles found to cause a problem are removed by trained and authorised wildlife rangers and are either trapped, harpooned or shot.
Further information about the crocodile or the person yet has not been released at the time of publication. There have been two crocodiles captured in the Wangi Creek this year alone, down from five in 2018 and three in 2017.
Locals have flooded to Facebook to share their own croc horror stories, with one lady writing: “This is the 3rd time in the last month I know of. A lady I met had just had 3 stitches in her hand, probably the same cranky little croc.”
Another person wrote: “Second time in a couple of weeks this happens,” while a third added: “Another one at Wangi… maybe lucky we didn’t swim.”
Meanwhile, rangers caught a 4.38 metre saltwater crocodile from the Victoria River after it started hanging around the area, with a post on Facebook reading: “There have been reports of people washing dishes in the river at the ramp, risking their lives for a clean plate. Remember, you are in croc country, always Be Crocwise.”
That crocodile will be released to a crocodile farm for breeding or display.
According to the Northern Territory government, most fatal crocodile attacks in the past two decades have occurred when people have entered the water outside of designated swimming areas.