We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news: gigantic crocodiles not only exist, but they've been racking up a body count over the past few years in Uganda and Australia, respectively. The good news: each of those two countries managed to capture one this week.
In Uganda, wildlife officials combed Lake Victoria for four days and finally apprehended an 80-year-old, 18-foot-long crocodile weighing close to a ton—just 3 feet and 100 pounds shy of the record. According to Uganda's New Vision newspaper, the reptile is suspected of killing four people and maiming several others in a handful of provinces.
Meanwhile, in Australia, officials used baited traps to capture a 14-foot-long croc near a boat launch in Queensland. Per ABC News Australia, the large reptile had been spotted tussling with with two other large crocs in the area, behavior attributed to the impending mating season. The capture might not spell the end of the danger, however, according to Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell:
"We knew that [the three crocodiles] were very large - in fact, we believe the one remaining male is even larger again[emphasis added]. We are urging people to consider using alternative locations to put their boats in."
Earlier this year, a saltwater crocodile killed a 12-year-old boy near the northern Australian city of Darwin. Worldwide, "salties" have killed an estimated 300 people over the past five years.
Bottom line: there are now two fewer of these behemoths out there. Other bottom line: don't dip your toes in the water in croc country if you can help it.