1,300 pound, 15-foot long crocodile captured in Australia after evading rangers for years

A massive saltwater crocodile has been captured in northern Australia, after nearly a decade of evading rangers.

Rangers caught the crocodile yesterday near the town of Katherine, Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife posted on Facebook.

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It is thought to be one of the largest ever caught in the region. The male crocodile is estimated to be over 60 years old and more than 15 feet long -- the average length of a car.

According to the Katherine Times, it weighs over 1,300 pounds, which is heavier than a grand piano.

The animal was captured in a trap on private land near the Nitmiluk and Kakadu national parks, the Washington Post reports. Rangers had reportedly been on the lookout for the giant crocodile since it was first seen nearly 10 years ago.

Officials said the crocodile had to be removed from the area because it had moved into more populated areas and is a danger to humans.

"It is a bit of a thrill," wildlife ranger John Burke told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "You've also got to admire the size of the animal and how old it is. You've got to have a bit of respect for it."

The reptile was taken to a crocodile farm outside of town, according to The Associated Press.

The average saltwater crocodile can live to be about 70 years old, grow up to 17 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds, according to National Geographic.

According to the Australian government, rangers remove about 250 problem crocodiles from the area every year.

“These crocodiles are transferred to crocodile farms or destroyed,” officials stated. “Trapped crocodiles can’t be relocated to their natural habitat due to costs and because they can travel large distances to return to their home range.”

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