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Published on 26 Aug 2013 | over 4 years ago

When animals attack: A 24-year-old Australian man was killed in a horrifying attack by a five meter saltwater crocodile while swimming in front of friends in the Mary River in Australia's Northern Territory on Saturday night.

Darwin-based IT worker Sean Cole and about 15 friends were celebrating a birthday near the Mary River, a waterway known to be teeming with crocodiles and clearly signposted. Cole and another man went back into the water after an earlier dip, friends said, even though the group had earlier spotted a large croc on the opposite riverbank. Horrified friends then saw the animal close its jaws around the the young man's body and swim down the river with its prey before disappearing.

Police and park rangers searched through the night. Rangers shot dead every large croc they found, including one 4.8m animal they believe to be the one responsible for attacking Cole. Police found Cole's body on Monday morning.

Crocodile researcher Dr Grahame Webb said swimming in the river comes with an almost 100% chance of being attacked. The Mary River is said to have the highest density of saltwater crocodiles in the world. Staff at the holiday park where the group were celebrating say the friends were warned of not enter the water.


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