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Department of Environment and Science

Queensland Government

Department of Environment and Science

Crocodile removed from Mourilyan Harbour after approaching fishers for food

20 December 2017

Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science have removed a 2.2 metre crocodile from the Mourilyan Harbour area near Innisfail after it was reported to be persistently approaching people fishing from boats.

Department of Environment and Science (DES) Director of Northern Operations Lindsay Delzoppo said the animal’s behaviour was consistent with an estuarine crocodile that had been fed regularly by people.

“On hearing about this behaviour DES immediately declared the animal a problem crocodile to be targeted for removal from the wild,” Mr Delzoppo said.

“A crocodile trap was installed on Saturday 16 December 2017, and the target animal was captured via the trap on Tuesday afternoon, 19 December.”

Mr Delzoppo said the animal would be offered to a registered farm or zoo.

“Feeding wild animals alters their behaviour and can ultimately create a dangerous situation for people,” Mr Delzoppo said.

“This animal had no fear of humans and instead was actively seeking out people in an expectation that it would be fed.

“It may seem hard to fathom why people would encourage a crocodile by feeding it, but that’s clearly what has happened in this case.”

Mr Delzoppo said it was extremely important for residents and visitors to be Crocwise in croc country and never feed crocodiles. In particular:

  • expect crocodiles in ALL northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign
  • obey all warning signs—they are there to keep you safe
  • be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night
  • stay well away from croc traps—that includes fishing and boating
  • the smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks
  • stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure
  • camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water 
  • never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp
  • never provoke, harass or feed crocs
  • always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead 
  • remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country
  • report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.

Further information on being Crocwise is available.

Crocodile sightings can be reported to DES on 1300 130 372 and the department investigates all crocodile reports it receives.

Please see these helpful safety videos for people who may be fishing or boating.

Last updated
20 December 2017