A crocodile in Australia snatched a woman taking a late-night swim in a national park and is believed to have killed her, media reported on Monday.

The 46-year-old woman was swimming with a friend late on Sunday in waist-deep water at a beach in Queensland state when she disappeared, police said.

"They felt a nudge, and a large crocodile is alleged to have grabbed one of the ladies and pulled her into the water," Neil Noble, a supervisor for the Queensland state ambulance service, told reporters.

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Police would only say the woman was believed to have been taken by a crocodile. Media reported that the friend struggled to pull the woman back from the crocodile's jaws.

Police did not identify the woman or give her nationality but said she lives in Australia and has family in New Zealand.

A police spokesman told Reuters a search and rescue operation would continue on Tuesday.

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Warren Entsch, the area's member of parliament, said the incident occurred in a place that is popular with crocodile-spotting tours, with many warning signs.

The incident should not encourage reprisals against the animals, he said.

"You can't legislate against human stupidity," Entsch told reporters. "This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. There are warning signs everywhere up there."