Watch out for crocodiles and snakes in floodwaters

Issued: 12 Dec 2018

Heavy rain in parts of far north Queensland means crocodiles and snakes could turn up unexpectedly in flooded areas.

Department of Environment and Science (DES) Manager of Northern Wildlife Operations Michael Joyce said it was dangerous to swim in floodwaters, and not just because of the strength and unpredictable nature of these waters.

“Crocodiles prefer calmer waters and they may well be on the move as they search out a quiet place where they can wait for the floodwaters to recede,” Mr Joyce said.

“Similarly, snakes are good swimmers and they too may turn up in unexpected places.

“If you see a snake, don’t attempt to catch or remove it. It’s best to leave snakes alone to move on of their own accord, or you can contact a local licensed snake removalist if you need assistance.

"If you see a crocodile, please report it as soon as possible to the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.

“All crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

Mr Joyce said it was very important to always be Crocwise in Croc Country. In particular:

  • expect crocodiles in all far 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 at Be Crocwise.

A number of national parks may also be closed due to the current weather events. For a full list of national park and forest closures, visit park alerts.