File picture: Aaron Favila/AP
Canberra - Police in Australia's Northern Territory (NT) have recovered the body of an indigenous park ranger who was killed by a crocodile on Friday. 

The attack occurred at approximately 10:30 am local time on Friday morning at a billabong, 206 km south-west of Yirrkala, which sits on the north-east tip of the NT. 

NT Police Commander Tony Fuller confirmed that the Aboriginal woman who cannot be named was fishing with family members when she was taken by a known "problem" crocodile that had defied numerous previous capture attempts. She was collecting mussels in the billabong when the crocodile struck. 

"She was with the group ... and the group noticed her missing," Fuller told reporters on Friday night. "They heard some splashing ... (and) the bucket that she was carrying was found nearby." 

Fuller said that she was "waist deep" in water when she was taken. Her body and the crocodile were found by authorities less than a kilometre from the scene of the attack at around 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening. The crocodile was euthanized by local rangers and her body was recovered. 

Even though the victim was not on duty at the time of the attack, Worksafe NT has opened its own investigation. 

Between 1971 and 2013, there were 99 reported saltwater crocodile attacks in Australia, 27 percent of which were fatal. However, the rate of attacks increased from 1.7 per year between 1971 and 2004 to 4.5 per year between 2004 and 2013. 

Xinhua