Human remains found inside crocodile in Australia believed to belong to missing fisherman
(CNN) — Remains found inside a crocodile in Australia are believed to belong to a 65-year old fisherman who went missing over the weekend, according to local police.
The remains have yet to be formally identified, but Queensland police said in a statement Wednesday that search and rescue operations for the missing man, identified by CNN affiliates as Kevin Darmody, had been discontinued.
Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife officers caught two large crocodiles upstream from where Darmody was last seen during a fishing trip on the Kennedy River in Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, northeast Queensland on Saturday.
The two crocodiles were 4.1 meters (13.5 feet) and 2.8 meters (9.2 feet), police said in a statement. According to DES, the “vast majority” of attacks are carried out by crocodiles larger than two meters (over six feet).
Human remains were found within one of the crocodiles, though police officers believe both were involved in the incident with Darmody, the statement added.
Queensland police, the state emergency service and a Queensland government rescue helicopter had been searching for Darmody since police received reports of his disappearance on Saturday.
Detective Acting Inspector Jason Chetham had speculated on Monday that it was possible that Darmody had been dragged into the water by a large crocodile.
“It could have happened, for sure,” Chetham said, according to CNN Affiliate 9 News. “There was a noise, a loud yell, and then the sound of the water splashing.”
“It’s a national park and there are wild animals up there, wild crocodiles,” he added. “Obviously that’s one of the possibilities.”
DES notes that crocodiles can be found in the rivers, creeks, swamps, wetlands, waterholes and along beaches of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, which is home to both estuarine or saltwater crocodiles and relatively shy freshwater crocodiles.
The park, about 340 km (around 211 miles) northwest of Cairns, is one of six main areas of estuarine crocodile conservation in Queensland.
Locals urged others to be careful of getting too close to the water.
“This happened to an extremely croc-aware person so stay away from the water’s edges,” one person posted on a local community Facebook page, according to CNN affiliate 7 News. “Don’t take anything for granted.”
Queensland is no stranger to crocodiles and the dangers they can pose. In March, Queensland authorities warned residents to avoid crocodile-infested waters after record-breaking floods.