Letter from a nephew:
… most destressing news … an adopted nephew of my auntie got grabbed by a croc while rinsing dishes down by the wharf on an island in the Vonavona lagoon. His family saw it all. Crocs are a problem now even in Gizo. It seems the Australian police RAMSI are applying Steve Irwin Australian polically correct views on control. What I see is Solo kids always mucking about in small canoes and don’t have the luxury of playing in swimming pools. They can’t expect tourism to get any where with the modern dinosaurs lurcking about the place ready to eat you. My personal opinion is crocs had their day 65 million years ago and there is no place for them now. My dad said a guy called Bill page in the 60s single handedly culled most of them in the Solomons spotlighting. I reckon they have migrated up from Australia via the Gulf of Carpentaria because the males get chased out of areas by bigger males
That is distressing news. And not the first time I have received it. By my count I believe around 5 nephews and nieces have been taken by crocs in the last few years.
It is very hard to give conservation any serious thought when family members are dying. My Father in law, Sae, pretty much kept the crocs in check around the Roviana and Vonavona lagoons while he was alive. After he died the numbers went up very quickly. No one stepped in to take over. Also during the amnesty after the troubles Solomon Islands experienced a few years back, Sae had to hand in the rifle I sent him. As far as I know, no private citizen owns a gun any more, and as Ian points out above, it appears that conservation has precedence over control. It is hard to reconcile this with the security and safety of people.
A salt water crocodile I shot (with my camera) in Queensland.