The disappearance of an elderly woman in the north-eastern Australian state of Queensland has been confirmed as a crocodile attack, local police said on Tuesday.
After three days of searching, wildlife rangers caught a 4.3 metre crocodile overnight in the Mowbray River, in the north of the state, with human remains inside.
At a press conference in Cairns, police said that examination of the reptile found "human remains inside that crocodile, along with some personal effects we believe belonged to the missing person."
Anne Cameron, 79, of nearby Port Douglas, was last seen on October 10, leaving her aged care facility for a walk. Her clothing, a walking stick and human remains were later found by an inlet of the Mowbray River, a known haunt of crocodiles.
The incident sparked calls for an urgent cull of crocodiles in the area. While the Queensland government and local authorities support a programme of tagging the animals, state politician Robbie Katter believes culling is the answer.
Katter told national broadcaster ABC that "people are screaming out for some safety," describing current management laws as "ridiculous."
"I don't think tagging is going to remove the risk and solve the problem," he said.
A recent study found that crocodile numbers in the state have been increasing since hunting was banned in the 1970s, and that the reptiles increasingly show up in places they have never been seen before.
"The level of human-crocodile conflict in Queensland is increasing, and this is likely to be a consequence of increasing human and crocodile populations," the study said.
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