First-of-a-kind double crocodile attack on Hinchinbrook Island the cause of ... trends now
Researchers believe the death of a man in a crocodile attack is the first account of two crocodiles joining forces to prey on a human.
Fisherman Andrew Heard went missing at about 3pm on February 11, 2021 while fishing on Gayundah Creek at Hinchinbrook Island, north-east Queensland.
Pieces of the 69-year-old's body tissue were found in two crocodiles, a 4.86m long male and a 2.85m long female, when they were 'humanely euthanised' in the days after his damaged boat and remains were found.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Science believe the male attacked his boat first before the female helped with 'dismemberment'.
'While it is not unusual that a male crocodile would share a large meal with another female, to my knowledge this is the first time that two crocodiles have been recorded predating a human anywhere,' the Department wrote in a report to the coroner.
In an attack that may be the first of its kind in the world, two crocodiles were believed to have preyed in unison on 69-year-old fisherman, Andrew Heard (pictured)
The coroner concluded the man was attacked by the crocodiles while standing stationary in his boat as it was found with tooth marks and punctures the morning after his disappearance.
'The Department of Environment Science became involved in the search on 12 February and 13 February located a human leg in the creek,' Christine Roney, coroner, wrote in a non-inquest findings report.
'This was considered to be consistent with a crocodile attack.'
The Department noted 'estuarine crocodiles instinctively respond to any movement at the water’s surface by approaching and biting or attacking the source'.
Although knowledgeable of crocodile habitats and behaviours, Mr Heard making sounds while fishing, such as splashing, is the likely cause of the attack.
Damages to nearby mangroves were found to have been consistent with Mr Heard attempting to rapidly pull himself out of the water