People with missing relatives in Australia have been trying to find out if their loved one could have been eaten by a giant crocodile found with an orthopaedic plate in its stomach.
The beast, called MJ, died several months after losing a fight with another crocodile at the Koorana Crocodile Farm.
It was opened up, and crocodile farm owner John Lever discovered the plate.
“I wouldn’t call it an investigation, we’re making inquiries because we’re fascinated by this whole thing,” Mr Lever said.
“Obviously this crocodile has chomped on something and that plate has been left in its stomach complete with screws.”
Mr Lever bought MJ from a farmer in Innisfail, 600 miles north of Rockhampton, six years ago.
“We’ve had a couple of people get in touch with us about their relatives that have gone missing in the northern Queensland area and they’re anxious to find out – there’s been nothing heard of these people, they’ve just disappeared,” Mr Lever said.
“We’ll certainly keep these people informed of any new news that we can get.”
He said he was not initially sure if the unusual find had been part of an animal or human, but since sharing photos of the plate he had been told it was a type used in human surgery, and he had been contacted by relatives of missing people anxious for clues.
Mr Lever estimated that MJ was 50 to 70 years old when he died.
The animal could have eaten the bone the plate had been attached to 50 years ago, he added.
All remnants of human tissue attached to the plate had been long digested before MJ died.
Mr Lever is continuing to make inquiries in the hope of discovering what decade the plate was used and who it belonged to.