DARWIN, Australia (AP) — Rangers shot two large crocodiles on Monday near where a 12-year-old boy was snatched and his friend was mauled as they swam in a water hole in a popular Outback tourist destination in northern Australia.
But neither saltwater crocodile — one 4.7 meters (15 feet, 5 inches) and the other 4.3 meters (14 foot, 1 inch) — is believed to be the killer, police Sergeant Stephen Constable said. A helicopter and boat search over the area continued Monday.
The missing boy was taken by a crocodile as he and four other boys swam on Sunday afternoon at Mudginberri Billabong in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, southeast of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin, Constable said.
Moments earlier, his 12-year-old friend was mauled as he fought the crocodile and sustained deep wounds to both arms, he said.
"One boy fought off the crocodile, and then the crocodile turned and took the other boy," Constable told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
The boy who survived "was first taken by the right arm, and then he fought off the crocodile and he's also got lacerations to his left elbow," Constable added.
Constable said the croc was thought to be at least three meters (10 feet) long. It is unlikely a child could have escaped a much larger croc.
The missing boy is from the small Aboriginal settlement of Mudginberri, west of the uranium mining town of Jabiru.