Erhöhte Alarmbereitschaft bei australischen Rangern

    04. 06. 2005

Crocodiles put rangers on high alert
Fri May 6, 2005 02:28 PM ET

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A record number of crocodiles in Australia's famous Kakadu National Park, and larger more aggressive saltwater crocodiles, have put rangers on high alert as the the giant animals attack boats and bite outboard motors.

Crocodiles have been a protected species in the Northern Territory since 1971 and their number has now grown to around 70.000 saltwater crocodiles, up from 3.000 some 30 years ago.

A 56-year-old fisherman was attacked in Kakadu in March when a four-meter (13-ft) crocodile jumped onto his boat and bit him on the head, park rangers said.
The man survived with grazes and puncture wounds to his left arm and head.

"The number of crocodile incidents has increased," Kakadu National Park Ranger Garry Lindner told Reuters Thursday.

Lindner said there had been reports of crocodiles attacking "boats, bumping them, biting the outboard, or coming up and biting the landing nets out of the people's hands."

"We have got to be prepared on a daily basis for an incident even though they might only occur every now and then," he said.

There have been only two recorded fatal crocodile attacks in Kakadu, 250 km (155 miles) east of the tropical city of Darwin.
In 2002 a German Tourist was killed while swimming in a wterhole.
The other fatal attack was in 1987.

Each year more than 170.00 people, many foreign tourists, visit Kakadu National Park, a 20.000 square kms (7.7000 square miles) world heritage listed park famous for its wetlands, crocodiles and ancient aboriginal culture.

The Northern Territory's recent wet season had raised water levels allowing crocodiles to spread into previously safe waterwholes.

Twin Falls, an iconic part of Kakadu which attracted some 200 tourists a day last year, has had its plunge pool at the bottom closed.

"It was just too dangerous, in some sections it was too deep, and you couldn't guarantee that it'd be 'saltie' free all year round", said Lindner.

Copyright Reuters 2005.All Rights Reserved.

Während der Regenzeit werden weite Teile des Northern Territory, also auch des Kakadu Nationalparks überschwemmt.
In dieser Zeit verteilen sich auch die Leistenkrokodile über die überschwemmten Flächen und wandern in Billabongs und Wasserlöcher, in denen sie sonst normalerweise nicht zu finden sind.
Vorsicht lohnt immer, wenn man in Australien schwimmen gehen möchte.
Die Anwesenheit von kleinen, recht harmlosen Australien-Krokodile (C. johnsoni) ist kein Beweis dafür, daß nicht auch Leistenkrokodile da sind,wie das gelegentlich in TV-Sendungen erklärt wird.
Im Mary River habe ich im Mai 2004 ebensoviele Leistenkrokodile wie Australienkrokodile gesehen, die dort in großer Zahl sympatrisch leben.

Ralf Sommerlad