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Crocodile devours 12-year-old Australian boy in second fatal attack in two weeks


Crocodile jaws are more sensitive to the touch than human fingertips, a new study suggests.


Cameron Spencer

A 12-year-old boy is thought to have been eaten by a crocodile in Australia's Northern Territories, in the second fatal attack to take place in two weeks, reports the BBC.

The youngster, who is thought to have come from a Aboriginal community near Port Bradshaw in East Arnhem Land, was swimming with a group of family and friends when he was attacked by the reptile.

Although adults attempted to fend off the animal with spears, their efforts were fruitless, and the boy was dragged away and out to sea, according to Sky News. It is suspected that he was consumed by the crocodile.

Read more from GlobalPost: Young girl believed taken by crocodile in Australia

A seven-year-old girl was attacked by a crocodile while swimming in a waterhole on November 16th at the Gumarrirnbang outstation, 300 miles from Darwin.  Human remains were later found in the belly of a crocodile killed by police officers, after an unsuccessful search for her whereabouts.

Crocodile attacks are a real danger in northern Australia, where large, aggressive saltwater crocodiles are commonly found in the same swimming holes that attract pleasure-seekers.

According to figures from the Crocodile Specialist Group, the average number of crocodile attacks per year in Australia is around 3.6—a number that may be swiftly passed before the end of 2012.

OZ Magic the Web Site keeps updated figures of crocodile attacks, and lists a litany of sobering croc-on-human incidents. The massive reptiles can reach 23 feet long, and can weigh upwards of a ton—and is believed to have the highest bite pressure of any animal.

Saltwater crocodile populations appear to be recovering from the days when they were indiscriminately hunted: the Australian government suspects the population is at least 100,000 across the country, and could be as high as 200,000.