Australia is a land of extremes. We have bushfires still burning out of control in Victoria and floods across the country in Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia and now in Western Australia as well. Somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of Australia is flood affected, while something like 50 percent of the country is still stricken by drought. Some areas have now been in drought for 11 or 12 years.
Flood waters are now beginning to recede across most of the country; however there is still plenty of rain about – especially in Queensland where an active monsoonal trough is still dumping rain on Queensland.
In Queensland authorities have captured the crocodile that took a 5 year old boy in flood waters. The boy’s remains were found inside of the crocodile. The crocodile is not going to be released back into the wild and will probably be sent to a crocodile farm.
The death toll in Victoria’s bushfire disaster now stands at 209, including a fire-fighter who was killed by a falling tree damaged by the fires. The fire-fighter was from interstate and had gone to Victoria to assist in the crisis. He was due to go home the next day.
The police have stated that the death toll is no longer expected to climb much further than 209.
The official damage bill for in the bushfire areas of Victoria is fast approaching $1 billion Australian dollars and is expected to go beyond that.
Police have now arrested a woman who claimed her father was killed in the bushfires after it was discovered she was not related to the man she claimed was her father. The woman was trying to obtain $10 000 in bushfire relief money.
BELOW: Dramatic video footage as a bushfire approaches a house at Anglesea in the early hours of the morning of the 14th February 2009.
As bushfires rage across most of south-eastern Australia, the north, and in particular the north-east, has been hit by severe weather that has included a cyclone and widespread flooding. Areas of Queensland have been struck repeatedly by floods in the last couple of weeks and at least 60% of the state will be flood affected by the time the flooding has passed.
It is not just the initial areas that have been flooded that will be flooded, for the water is now moving in great volumes further downstream and will begin to flood areas that did not even experience rain during the severe weather. Inland areas of New South Wales and South Australia, including Lake Eyre, can expect moderate to major flooding in coming weeks as the water heads downstream.
Several lives have been lost as a result of the flooding, including a five year old boy who may have been taken by a Crocodile at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree region, after following his pet dog into flood waters.
Dozens of roads have been closed across Queensland and the damage bill is expected to be immense. There are fears that southern Queensland may soon be hit by flooding as the monsoonal trough heads south.
ABOVE: Report from Ingham
ABOVE: Footage near Cardwell
ABOVE: Footage around Paronella Park
ABOVE: A report from the 4th February 2009
A 4.3m long crocodile has been caught and tested following the disappearance of Arthur Booker in the Endeavour River near Cooktown (Queensland, Australia) two weeks ago. Male human remains have been found within the crocodile and police have been notified of the find. DNA tests are now to be carried out to confirm the identity of the human remains, though it is more than likely to be those of Arthur Booker.
The first crocodile trapped in the hunt for a crocodile that may be responsible for the disappearance of Arthur Booker in the Endeavour River near Cooktown in Queensland was not responsible for his disappearance.
The crocodile has now been set free and tests will now be carried out a further two crocodiles that have been caught.
A large crocodile has been caught in the Endeavour River near Cooktown, scene of a probable crocodile attack on Arthur Booker as posted previously in this Blog. The large crocodile has been moved to Cairns where it will be x-rayed to see if it was responsible for the disappearance of Booker.
Following the x-ray the crocodile will be taken to a crocodile farm where it will be used for breeding purposes.
According to authorities the crocodile was seen near the alleged attack site and was behaving in an aggressive manner towards boats.
Other crocodiles that may be responsible for the disappearance of Arthur Booker are still being trapped, though authorities have said that it may take some time to capture the crocodile responsible for his disappearance.
The body of Vietnam veteran Arthur Booker, of Logan, Queensland, has still not been found following a suspected crocodile attack earlier this week. It is thought that Booker was taken by a large crocodile while checking crab traps along the Endeavour River near Cooktown on Tuesday. All that has been found in the search for the missing 62-year-old man has been his footwear and watch.
The search for Booker has now entered a new stage with police suspending their search of the river. Queensland Environmental Protection Officers (EPA) have now begun to lay crocodile traps in the area so that crocodiles can be examined for remains without harming or killing them.
The investigation into the disappearance of Arthur Booker has yet to determine if he was in fact taken by a crocodile, although this remains the most likely scenario. There are a number of large crocodiles inhabiting the area, including the 6m ‘Charlie.’
Charlie is known to be responsible for the loss of pet dogs, livestock, eating a 3.5m crocodile and was once seen taking a horse.
The probable crocodile attack has once again brought the call for crocodile culling back into the public arena. At the moment any thought of culling by officials has been dismissed.
BELOW: Footage reporting the disappearance of Arthur Booker
A terrible tragedy is unfolding near Cooktown in Queensland, Australia. An Australian fisherman has probably been taken by a 6 metre crocodile on the Endeavour River while checking crab traps on foot. Arthur Booker, 62, from the town of Logan, south of Brisbane has not been seen since about 8.30am Tuesday morning.
The man and his wife were on a two-day holiday at the Endeavour River Escape campsite near Cooktown, north of Cairns in Queensland. Mr Booker had already packed his boat on the top of his 4WD vehicle in preparation to leave.
A local crocodile known as Charlie is the alleged culprit of Arthur Booker’s disappearance according to local Terry Rayner. However, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service regional manager James Newman has said that there are other large crocodiles in the area.
Police are searching for the man but all that has been found is the man’s watch and footwear. The search will continue tomorrow.
BELOW: Footage of the Endeavour River, scene of the attack and the search for the victim.