Commercial hunting of saltwater crocodiles started in 1945. Before this there were about 100, 000 crocs in the Top End but by 1971 there was only around 3000 left and they were almost extinct.
This was a huge problem because crocs are important to the culture of many Australians. They are also the biggest predator wherever they live making them important to the environment. Many tourists now come to the NT to see crocodiles and many people are employed in crocodile farms making crocs really important to our economy.
Salties were protected by international law in 1971 and since then their numbers have recovered. It is important to remember that things have changed since you were young. What was once a safe place to swim may now be home to a large saltwater crocodile.
Things have changed, #becrocwise