A three-metre saltwater crocodile was found decapitated in far north Queensland last week. The giant reptile had been mysteriously dismembered and dumped near Karumba, a small port town on the Gulf of Carpentaria: its head completely severed from the shoulders up. It is the second headless croc to have been found in that area in the past two months.
Queensland Police are investigating the incident alongside the state’s Department of Environment and Science, the ABC reported. In August authorities discovered another crocodile of the same size and with almost identical mutilations at a lake in Mount Isa, about 500 kilometres south. That specimen was a freshwater species, and believed to be 70 years old.
"For a freshwater croc, it's a fairly large animal, and that in itself is quite distasteful—that a creature of that age could be targeted by somebody," Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Barron told the ABC. "It's definitely [of] serious concern… It would not be expected to be an easy or fast job to do to decapitate an animal of that size.”
Senior Sergeant Barron added that "In relation to our investigation there's some information which is very specific to how that head was removed that we need to hang on to.”
It is not known how either of the animals was killed. In relation to the saltwater croc, a spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Science explained that there were no bullet wounds or indications that it had been shot. They suggested that it may have been run over first, before it was subsequently decapitated.