A town in northern Australia is in mourning this week after a beloved crocodile was found dead.
According to CNN affiliate 7 News Australia, a fisherman discovered the body of Bismarck, an 80-year-old saltwater crocodile popular with residents and tourists, in Cardwell’s Meunga Creek late last week.
It is believed the 4.5 meter (15 foot) crocodile was shot in the head.
“Well Cardwell say goodbye to one of your biggest tourist attractions,” Ryan Moody said in a video posted to Facebook after discovering the dead animal. “This croc was never a threat to humans.”
Moody said there is now a risk a more aggressive crocodile would move into Bismarck’s territory.
“Amazing how humans can just make situations become more dangerous through acts of pure stupidity,” he said. Referring to the unknown perpetrator, he added, “I wonder if he’d like it if I came round and jumped on his head for an hour with my fists. Probably not.”
According to the ABC, a “memorial day” is being planned for Bismarck, with a public service to be held at a future date.
“We saw Bismarck as part of our community, he was such a gentle soul as far as crocodiles can go,” Cardwell resident Thea Ormonde told the broadcaster.
“We want to remember the gentle giant because he never caused any problems for anyone.”
Rescued from crocodiles
In less friendly crocodile news, two fishermen were airlifted to hospital Wednesday after spending two days stranded in a tree above crocodile-infested water on the ironically named South Alligator River, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Darwin.
The pair were forced to climb the tree after their boat sank, leaving them without any safety equipment or supplies aside from a fire extinguisher, CNN affiliate 9 News Australia reported.
After the men didn’t return, a helicopter was dispatched to search for them, and they succeeded in using the fire extinguisher to catch the crew’s attention.
The men were treated for extreme dehydration and severe insect bites, 9 News reported, before being airlifted to Darwin.