Australia police capture giant cattle-eating croc

The giant saltwater crocodile being hauled on land by several rangers and officers.
The giant saltwater crocodile being hauled on land by several rangers and officers.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE VIDEO

SYDNEY (AFP) - An "angry" giant saltwater crocodile hunting cows at a northern Australia cattle station has been captured and relocated to a breeding farm, authorities and reports said.

Wildlife officers had laid a trap in a waterway near where the "saltie" was reported to have been taking cattle at the station in the island continent's tropical north.

But they had to wait several days before it could be wrangled out of the enclosure earlier this week as it was too "angry", the NT News reported.

"Got a big one," an official exclaimed in a video posted on Facebook by the Northern Territory Police on Wednesday as he peered into a cage floating in the water where the croc was trapped.

It took several rangers and officers to haul the 4.33m predator onto land before it was tied up and taken to a Darwin farm, with police quipping on the social media site that it was "just another day in the outback".

"It was a bit of an unorthodox extraction from the cage due to the situation where it was in a waterhole with limited access," Remote Sergeant Mark Berry said.

"He got a little bit away from us but we ended up getting hold of him. He's now been secured and will be taken into a breeding programme in Darwin.

Crocodiles are common in Australia's north where numbers have increased since the introduction of protection laws in 1971, with government estimates putting the national population at approximately 100,000. They kill an average of two people each year in Australia.

A saltwater crocodile can grow up to seven metres long and weigh more than a tonne.