26 Jan 2006

Australian crocodile hunter says PNG villagers will benefit if he can bring in trophy hunters

9:11 pm on 26 January 2006

An Australian crocodile hunter says he is confident he will get the go ahead from the Papua New Guinea government to run a trophy hunting venture and a farm where all parts of the dead animals would be utilised.

PNG crocodile skin exporters are opposed to the operation but Crocodile Mick Pitman says it is time for the industry to be shaken up.

Mr Pitman says his trophy hunters would eliminate the large crocodiles which occasionally threaten villagers and the farming operation would provide bigger returns than simply exporting green skins.

"I'm the only bloke in the world that can go out and get the animal and drag the animal up on the bank and do something with him in the end. And that's any sort of taxidermy on any size animal. I do all my own tanning down to making sheilas handbags. It's the perfect opportunity to get in there and turn that resource into a valuable one by taking someone with money in the back pocket that wants to shoot one of these large trophy animals, you know."

Mr Pitman expects PNG officials to give his plan the green light early next month.