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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

10-year-old battles to save ‘friend’ named Howard. He’s a 13 foot crocodile

“I lived at Bamboo Creek Road for five years and I loved watching Howard sunbake and seeing him from the bridge every afternoon,” 10-year-old Elroy Woods wrote in a letter.

it-s-viral Updated: Sep 10, 2019 19:06 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Cairns, Australia
The massive reptile has been living in the small locality of Miallo, but the government wants to remove him because he may attack humans.
The massive reptile has been living in the small locality of Miallo, but the government wants to remove him because he may attack humans. (Handout / COURTESY OF DAVID WHITE / AFP)
         

A crocodile living in a creek in northwestern Australia is at the centre of a battle between authorities who want to remove it, and locals who have grown fond of the massive reptile.

Officials in the state of Queensland have set a trap to catch the saltwater croc, who residents have nicknamed Howard, saying he is a danger to humans.

One schoolboy is so distraught by the decision he has written a letter to state environment minister Leeanne Enoch begging her to let the creature stay.

“I lived at Bamboo Creek Road for five years and I loved watching Howard sunbake and seeing him from the bridge every afternoon,” wrote 10-year-old Elroy Woods, from the small locality of Miallo.

David White, who owns a local crocodile-cruise business, said there had been 300 emails sent in support of keeping the four-metre-long animal where it is, and just one complaint.

Even Queensland’s Australia Zoo, run by the widow of late celebrity “crocodile hunter” Steve Irwin, has pitched in.

The zoo said in a tweet it was “so proud” of Elroy’s efforts to protect Howard, adding that predators at the top of the food chain were “the most important in any ecosystem”.

However the government has indicated the trap will remain in place, saying the crocodile will not be destroyed when caught.

A balance “between the need to protect public safety, and the need to conserve estuarine crocodile populations in the wild” must be found, said an environment department official.

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 18:58 IST