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Crocodile attack: Tourist mauled at Butler Cove, Lake Argyle, Kimberley

Tourist is rushed to hospital after being mauled by a massive crocodile at hotspot dubbed the ‘Jewel of the Kimberley’

  • Butler Cove at Lake Argyle in remote Kimberley region is tourism hotspot
  • A ‘tourist’ was attacked by a crocodile when she went for a swim at the site
  • As of Wednesday night, victim was said to be ‘in a stable condition’ in hospital
  • Woman is understood to have been part of a group that hired a five-metre boat 
  • Despite the croc attack, an annual lake swim is still going ahead this weekend 
  • Do you know more? contact: tips@dailymail.com 

A crocodile has seriously injured a ‘tourist’ in an horrific attack at a Western Australia lake considered an Instagram hotspot.

The 38-year-old woman was bitten on the leg by a freshwater crocodile while swimming at Butler Cove, Lake Argyle, in the remote Kimberley region in the far north of the state. 

Before Monday’s attack, the area dubbed the ‘Jewel of the Kimberley’ was better known for its immense natural beauty.

The idyllic outback location is often called the ‘Jewel of the Kimberley’ and is a favourite of tourists and social media influencers. 

Before Monday’s crocodile attack, Lake Argyle (pictured) was better known for its tranquil beauty

The woman, whom Daily Mail Australia understands is from elsewhere in WA, sustained serious leg injuries and was first rushed to Kununurra Hospital before being taken to Broome Regional Hospital. 

As of Wednesday night, she was said by the hospital to be ‘in a stable condition’.

The traveller is understood to have been part of a group that hired a five-metre boat to get around the lake.

On its website, the boat hire company said: ‘We do have freshwater crocodiles in Lake Argyle but these creatures don’t actively hurt humans.’  

It adds that ‘We swim in deeper parts of Lake Argyle where they frequent less.’

A crocodile was later spotted roving around the area and was shot by authorities. 

WA’s Department of Biodiversity and Conservation (DBCA) sent a crew to patrol the area on Tuesday and said the attack was by ‘a problem animal’.

‘The attack was unprovoked (and) a 2-2.5 metre freshwater crocodile was seen in the area soon after the incident,’ a DBCA spokesperson said.

A 38-year-old was bitten on the leg by a freshwater crocodile while swimming at Lake Argyle, in the remote Kimberley region on Monday (stock image)

A 38-year-old was bitten on the leg by a freshwater crocodile while swimming at Lake Argyle, in the remote Kimberley region on Monday (stock image)

A warning sign alerting people to the risk of crocodiles is displayed along the Ord River at Lake Argyle. A woman was attacked by a crocodile in Lake Argyle on Monday

A warning sign alerting people to the risk of crocodiles is displayed along the Ord River at Lake Argyle. A woman was attacked by a crocodile in Lake Argyle on Monday

When officers conducted a patrol of Butler Cove on Tuesday, a freshwater crocodile of the same size approached and interact with their vessel. 

‘Both the behaviour of a crocodile approaching the boat and the events of the previous day is consistent with what staff would identify as a problem animal,’ the spokesperson said.

‘To ensure public safety in the popular recreation and swimming area and with a the annual Lake Argyle swim taking place this weekend, the animal was destroyed.’

The Lake Argyle Resort and Caravan Park has become one of the state’s most idyllic spots for couples and families, offering caravans, cabins and grand lake-front villas.

The park’s main attraction which brings in thousands of tourists every year is the 35m infinity pool, which has panoramic views of Lake Argyle. 

Tours around the lake and sunset cruises are also very popular despite the large population of freshwater crocodiles.

The Lake Argyle Resort and Caravan Park is famed for its 35m infinity pool (pictured), which has panoramic views of Lake Argyle

The Lake Argyle Resort and Caravan Park is famed for its 35m infinity pool (pictured), which has panoramic views of Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle (pictured) in far north Western Australia, is known for its stunning natural beauty

Lake Argyle (pictured) in far north Western Australia, is known for its stunning natural beauty

Members of the public who encounter a freshwater crocodile interacting with people swimming, fishing, camping or boating are encouraged to report it to their local Parks and Wildlife Service office.

‘As with all wild animals, freshwater crocodiles’ behaviour can change if people feed or interact with them,’ the spokesperson said. 

‘The animals can begin seeking out people as a source of food and start exhibiting dangerous behaviour. 

‘The public is reminded not to feed or approach wildlife while recreating in the Kimberley.’

Lake Argyle (pictured) attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, eager to see it's beauty and to get perfect pictures for social media posts

Lake Argyle (pictured) attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, eager to see it’s beauty and to get perfect pictures for social media posts

Crocodile attacks in Australia 

Saltwater crocodile attacks happen regularly in Australia. 

Attacks by freshwater crocodiles are much rarer, but do happen, as was seen in WA on Monday. 

Most attacks are on pets and livestock, but there also regular incidents involving humans, and about two per year are fatal.

To put that in perspective, horses and cows kill a lot more people in Australia every year than crocodiles.  

In the years between 2008 and 2017, just 17 people were killed by crocodiles; 23 were killed by snakes and lizards; and 26 were killed by sharks and other marine creatures. 

Cows and horses, though, were responsible for 77 deaths: more than crocodiles, snakes and sharks combined. 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 

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