الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Crocodile heads found in freezer

This undated picture released by the Northern Territory police shows saltwater crocodile heads inside a freezer box behind a row of shops at Humpty Doo town in Australia's Northern Territory

Saltwater crocodiles are a protected species in Australia’s Northern Territory

Police in Australia are investigating how up to 70 crocodile heads ended up in a freezer dumped near the city of Darwin.

A group of teenagers made the find behind a row of shops in the town of Humpty Doo on Sunday.

The heads belonged to saltwater crocodiles, a protected species in Australia’s Northern Territory.

There is a lucrative trade in the area for crocodile skins, many of which go to make handbags and shoes.

Anyone found guilty of killing protected wildlife can face a fine of up to A$76,500 (£36,000; $56,000) or five years in jail.

“There was quite a bad smell and maggots around everywhere,” Tommy Nichols, a senior wildlife ranger specialising in crocodile management, told ABC.

“A lot of people keep some strange things in freezers.”

Saltwater crocodiles, the largest of the species, can grow up to 7m (23ft) in length and weigh up to a tonne.

There are believed to be up to 200,000 saltwater crocodiles in the wild in Australia, where they were made a protected species in 1970.

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