Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Crocodiles killed in the Solomon Islands after villager eaten earlier this month.

Police officers have killed four large Crocodiles Kolombangara Island in the Solomons, following the death of a villager believed to have been eaten by one of the animals earlier this month. The man went missing on 2 June 2019 while swimming near Kaza Village. Human remains thought to belong to the missing man were found in the stomach of a four metre Crocodile. The Solomon Islands are home to a population of Saltwater Crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, which has grown steadily since the hunting of Crocodiles for their skins was banned 30 years ago. In recent years this has lead to a growing conflict between Humans and Crocodiles, as rising numbers of both species has brought them closer together, resulting in more Crocodile attacks on Humans, and more frequent organised culls of Crocodiles in return.

A Crocodile killed during a cull in the Solomon Islands in 2018. Peter Iroga/Facebook.

Crocodile attacks on Humans are relatively rare, but they are opportunistic ambush predators and will potentially attack anything going close to the water. Saltwater Crocodiles have a particularly poor reputation for such behaviour, being the largest species of Crocodile and notoriously aggressive. These Crocodiles are one of the few Crocodile species not considered vulnerable to extinction, being found from India to Australia  and inhabiting many areas that Humans shun, such as Mangrove forests and islands without fresh water.

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