On Thursday, the Australian government announced its approval for a controversial plan that would allow safari hunters to pay $15,000 to hunt protected crocodiles. The proposal, which would allow 50 saltwater crocodiles to be killed over a trial period, has received widespread rebuke from conservationists, including the father of the late "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin. Herpetologist Bob Irwin has said the plan will make rivers more dangerous. "If the shooters knew anything about how nature works, they'd know the really big boys keep everything in check," Irwin said. "You shoot out the big males and the teenagers will start running around testing their skills." Advocates say the policy would be a boon to the tourism industry in Aboriginal areas. Saltwater crocodiles have been protected since the 1970s and the population is estimated at around 150,000.
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