An orthopaedic plate found in the stomach of a crocodile in Queensland could possibly bring closure to the family of a missing person if the object belonged to a human.
The orthopaedic plate, with six stainless-steel screws was inside the 4.7-metre MJ, who died a month ago after a fight with another large crocodile at Koorana Crocodile Farm near Rockhampton.
The metal object, which is about 10 centimetres long, was found when farm workers cut MJ’s his gut to try to establish why he died.
Farm staff had been told the Swiss-made plate is “quite an old model”, manager John Lever said, but an identification code has worn off due to stomach acidity.
“It could have been used in a pet or in human surgery, we don’t know,” he said.
“It could have been in the crocodile’s stomach for 45, 50 years.”
Imagine our surprise when we opened up the gut on this large croc and found what looks to be an orthopaedic…
The investigation involves information from social media users and medicos but police are not yet involved, Mr Lever said.
The croc had lived at the farm for about six years after being bought from another farm in north Queensland.
Mr Lever is unaware of MJ’s prior habitat in the wild but inquiries are being made with the original farm.
He said his instinct was the plate belonged to a human.
“That’d be our desire – if we can help solve a cold case,” he said.
“If we could put some minds at rest, it would be absolutely delightful.”