General Question

rooeytoo's avatar

Should creatures which endanger humans be culled?

Asked by rooeytoo (26981points) April 6th, 2009

In the top end of Australia there are an estimated 60–80 thousand crocodiles. During this wet several children and adults have been killed. There is a widespread cry for intense culling. But during the wet and mating season crocs travel many kilometers so culling in inhabited areas will be no guarantee. There are also suggestions that safari type hunts be allowed with rich Americans and Germans paying through the nose for the privilege of shooting one. Others want them eliminated completely. What do you think should be done?

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24 Answers

electricsky's avatar

Of course they should be culled. After all, keeping humans alive should be the main priority of every other living creature, since we are, after all, superior beings, and those crocodiles should realize this. Since these crocodiles have brutally murdered several humans for the ridiculous intent of feeding themselves or their young for the selfish reason of keeping them alive, they deserve to be killed by the thousands. It’s just how it goes.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@electricsky I think you are being sarcastic. At least I hope so.

electricsky's avatar

@BBSDTfamily: Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure that was the most sarcastic paragraph ever.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Ha ha okay good :)

Dr_C's avatar

@electricsky a poet you are.. much lurve.

Judi's avatar

Have they lost their “natural enemies,” or is man their only predator?

prasad's avatar

Killing will ultimately endanger their species. Killing all crocs won’t be wise.
Instead, some other way around should be worked out.
Capturing and putting them in zoos could be one of solutions.
Or announce that area, at least during wet seasons, dangerous or croc zone like that.
What d’you think?

rooeytoo's avatar

I think they should be culled but it is difficult, during the wet they go everywhere, guy down the street found one in his carport, people find them in their swimming pools, during the dry they go back into the bush. So if you cull 20,000 of the 60–80 thousand, that still leaves a lot of crocs out there. Where do you stop? The people that were killed were swimming in areas known to be inhabited by 5meter crocs. It never should have happened. I hate the idea of safari hunters paying money to come and kill. The great minds are arguing about what should be done. People keep moving into the areas where they live and feed and breed. Did you see the movie Rogue, was filmed up here and was a bit silly but true as well.

laureth's avatar

When a predatory species is removed, the species that it went after tends to overpopulate. (One reason we have to hunt deer is because we took out the wolves a while back, leaving the deer to breed freely.)

There are more than six and a half billion people, spreading like a virus. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we hadn’t overkilled all the lions, tigers, bears, cheetahs, wolves, etc., that used to keep us in check.

So now we’re down to the poor croc, one of the few species left that has it in for us (outside of a safari preserve or the wild hinterland). Poor thing’s doing its natural job, surviving since the dinosaurs and all, and this is the thanks we give it.

Now, I’m only being a little tongue-in-cheek, and if they were in my neighborhood I’m sure I’d be in a bit more of a panic. But seriously, we don’t have that many checks on our species anymore (except perhaps other people and disease), and if we were deer, we’d need to be hunted. No one can make the world 100% safe; even a McDonald’s child play area has germy nasties on the toys. If we try to eliminate every source of danger for humans, I think it’ll just make it worse.

I like @prasad‘s “croc zone” idea. They have a place in nature, just like we do.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

To the faint of heart let’s be clear here… we’re talking about culling them… not wiping them off the face of the earth into merciless extinction.

In my hometown deer hunting season was often extended or started early if survey’s showed the amount of deer was too many for the season. An overpopulation meant that the area’s crops would be wiped out.. deer would bring in deer-tick borne Lyme’s Disease to populated areas.. deer would even starve themselves to death due to overpopulation.

No one is discussing removing the species from the planet just because they ate a few small children.. perhaps we’re talking about intelligent survey… collection.. containment.. and yes.. perhaps a few should die..

with so many science buffs on fluther I’m rather surprised that so many are weak in the knees when it comes to culling… I say CULL… CULL them allllllllll! (ok.. had to throw in a joke)

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

Here’s an idea…

Maybe the people shouldn’t, you know, hang around areas where crocodiles are known to live? I mean, I get that we’re the dominate species, blah blah blah, we should be able to go where ever we damn well please, blah blah blah, but would it really kill us to take a moment or two and exercise some common sense?

Personally, I think we should let the crocs do their thing. You wanna talk about overpopulation? If any species on earth needs culling, it’s human beings. By a couple billion.

MissAusten's avatar

@MrMeltedCrayon, maybe the crocs got together and decided to take it upon themselves to cull some humans.
Or maybe they were just hungry?

If the crocs stayed in the “wild” this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. The problem is that they roam more during certain times of the year and mingle a bit much with the human population. Finding a croc in your garage or swimming pool isn’t really an issue of a person going where they know crocs will be. Maybe educating the public on how to keep crocs out combined with stepped-up animal control efforts during the wet/mating season (to relocate the misguided crocs) would be more effective than culling. I mean, if you know the crocs are going to pop up at certain times of the year, why not just be ready for them? Maybe lock the pet door, reinforce the fence around the swimming pool, take a break from swimming or fishing in the local water hole, etc.

emilia_eclaire's avatar

If humans are swimming in known croc-populated waters, well, unless they were children too young to read or something, that’s sort of natural selection isn’t it? I’ve seen the crocs in Australia and they are terrifying. But rather than culling they should just maybe focus on taking out the crocs that wander into people’s homes, and keep people out of their waters. It seems simple enough.

Is the problem bad enough that people are in the habit of keeping something on them to defend themselves from crocs? Do they have any other reason to go down by the water other than to tempt fate?

syz's avatar

I must point out the the creatures that most commonly endanger humans are humans.

rooeytoo's avatar

@emilia_eclaire – the last one taken was an 11 year old girl who told her family she was going swimming in an area not usually a swimming hole but a flooded paddock, just the sort of place a croc would roam in the wet. Parent should have said no but I think people become complacent, earlier in the year a fisherman wading to a crab trap and another kid swimming in swollen creek. All stupid things to do. But the debate about what to do goes on. Culling is going to have to occur, won’t solve the problem but may quiet the people until something terrible happens again. I can’t think of a worse way to go, but people keep on taking chances.

emilia_eclaire's avatar


I’d say in the US we lose a few to sharks every year, probably for the same reasons, though we have designated beaches and lifeguards. It’s more common that someone just loses a limb or gets a nasty bitemark. Does the croc epidemic have anything to do with development in croc-inhabited areas? Could they build dams designed to keep out the brunt of crocs swimming down from larger bodies of water? Granted they can walk, but it seems they’d be less likely to make the trek on land.

rooeytoo's avatar

@emilia_eclaire – some are happening in areas that used to be uninhabited and are now suburbs, others are happening in the wilderness when humans combine drinking and fishing or camping. During the wet, dry paddocks become flooded and croc infested. That is how the little girl was taken, she was swimming in a flood plain, not a good thing to do. She was 11 and her sister is 7 (she made it out) and they were swimming with grandparents knowledge and permission. Now the grandfather wants to kill ALL crocs within a 100 mile radius. Another 20 year old male was taken this week, he was drunk and swam across a section of a river that is known to be inhabited by 5 meter plus crocs. It is against the law to cull idiots so I guess the crocs are going to have to go.

emilia_eclaire's avatar


Yeah this is an unfortunate situation all around, and crocodiles aren’t cute so no one will sympathize with them, but basically this all seems to amount to poor decisions on the part of some human every time. People should probably just act with more caution and culling probably shouldn’t start until crocs wander into people’s homes looking for chow.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@rooeytoo dont you love when we lash out at animals for well acting like…... animals? We’re the ones going into their territory and then when some moron gets attacked, its the animals fault. Not the dumbas who put themselves in that situation, but the animal. So then we must kill off all those animals. Brilliant.

rooeytoo's avatar

The poor kid who got taken while swimming in a flood plain had her grandparents permission to go. Now the grandfather is the one calling for the cull. There are always pics in the paper of a guy kite surfing beside a croc. It is plain crazy.

I just hope they don’t start the safari hunts for thousands of dollars, that is the worst. Cull if you must but don’t make it sport for the wealthy gunners.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

We cull deer around here because the herds outgrow their food supply. I don’t feel good about that practice, but at least I understand it. @laureth has it right – killing off a predatory species because it’s seen as a threat to human activity has unintended consequences.

I’m reminded of the Middle Ages, where the plague was killing off huge segments of the population – in part because people were killing off wolves and cats, believing them to be creatures of Satan. Without predation, the rats and their disease-carrying lice thrived. We look back on these people and scoff at how stupid they were. But we’ve almost wiped out wolves and even bald eagles because of the threat to livestock, i.e., profit. Nobody knows what the long-term effects of forcing extinction on other species will be. What will people in the future say about us?

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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The question I have and hope it is not too off base if one killed off all the crocs what other animals would explode in population and would that population explosion cause a larger problem by out striping the food supply or causing humans more problems by getting more in the way than they already are?

rooeytoo's avatar

Crocs are the top of the non human food chain so their demise would mean an increase in a large variety of creatures, but I don’t think the result would endanger anyone’s food supply. Of course the more crocs, the more contact with humans.

I don’t think most people are opposed to a cull, the question is how it is to be done and by whom.

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