- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Police found the remains of a 20-year-old man who was taken by a 14-foot (4-meter) crocodile when he went for a nighttime swim in a river in northern Australia, an officer said Saturday.

The crocodile believed responsible has been killed, police said.

Police Superintendent Dean Maloney said the man was attacked about 2 a.m. Friday when he and his brother, who had been drinking with the victim’s wife on the bank, decided to swim across the Daly River, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) south of the tropical city of Darwin.

Maloney said the trio were local residents and should have known that large saltwater crocodiles live in the river.

“I’d be taking extreme care if I was going to do that,” Maloney said of the late-night dip. “I think there was some complacency involved in this incident.”

Wildlife officials found the man’s remains about half a mile (1 kilometer) upriver from where he was last seen.

Maloney said police killed the crocodile believed to be responsible for the attack. Rangers who took part in the search had been ordered to kill any large crocodile they found.

Saltwater crocodiles, the world’s largest reptile that grows up to 23 feet (7 meters) long, have become increasingly common in Australia’s tropical north since the hunting the almost extinguished the species was banned in 1971.

Four people have died in crocodile attacks in Australia since September.

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