August 01, 2019

Is this the answer to a giant croc mystery?

Is this the answer to a giant croc mystery?
Dr. Chris Brown

After this massive saltwater crocodile named MJ passed away, a routine post-mortem revealed an orthopaedic bone plate sitting in his stomach. Naturally everyone wants to know if it’s from a human. But here’s why it’s almost certainly from a dog...

At 4.7 metres long there’s no doubting that MJ lived large. But all that ended when complications from a fight with another croc claimed his life. But only he held the secret as to how this 10cm stainless steel plate ended up in his stomach. The leg it was attached to was digested away years ago leaving only this piece of evidence behind.

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But here’s why it’s almost certainly from a dog rather than a person. For starters, it’s sheer numbers. Sadly, for every person that’s taken by a crocodile, at least 50 to 100 dogs are lost. Secondly, it’s the style of the plate. While these were occasionally used in human surgery 20 plus years ago, plates like these are still commonly part of veterinary operations to fix fractures to this day. And that size would be perfect for a large working (or hunting) dog that might have lived and sadly lost it’s life in far North Queensland.

It’s a massive mystery in every way. But hopefully one family out there will now get closure over the loss of a missing loved one...

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