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Title: Sweetheart
Photo No: PH0799/0006
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Date taken: 1-Jul-1979
Place: Finniss River
Collection: Sweetheart Collection.
Description: Sweetheart being captured in the Finniss River. In the 1970s a 17 foot crocodile named "Sweetheart" ruled Sweet's Billabong in the Finniss River, 55 km south-west of Darwin. But Sweetheart's fierce territorialism became a safety concern for humans when he made a number of attacks on fishing boats. Sweetheart had scars on his body and chipped teeth that had never been seen on any crocodile before. It was presumed to be propeller damage as Sweetheart did bite and even broke boat propellers. In July 1979 Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife decided to move Sweetheart from the Finniss River to a Crocodile Farm at Berrimah. Ranger, Dave Lindner and colleague Buck Sallau led a 4 man team to capture the 780kg saltwater crocodile. The crocodile hunters camped at the river for 8 days and made only fleeting sightings of Sweetheart. Finally a dead dingo was placed in a trap that was placed for Sweetheart. Sweetheart was caught in the trap but getting him out of the river became a challenge when the safety rope around Sweetheart's nose became entangled underwater and the crocodile drowned. In retrospect it was felt that it would have been better to leave Sweetheart where he was but the scientific evidence of his stomach contents was illuminating. When he was opened up his stomach was full of: egrets, tortoise, fresh long necked turtles and pigs. After Sweetheart died he was preserved by taxidermist Ian Archibald and is a favourite exhibit at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin.
Notes: Date:1979-07
Subject: Sweetheart (Crocodile)
Copyright owner: Northern Territory Library.
Digital format: 1200ppi ; 75.79Mb.
File type: image/tiff.
Hardcopy format: 1 photograph : col. ; 9 x 13 cm.
Appears in Collections:PictureNT

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