'Icon' crocodile had to be removed from the wild at Proserpine

Issued: 24 Jan 2019

4.5m 'Icon' Crocodile removed from the Proserpine River

4.5m 'Icon' Crocodile removed from the Proserpine River

Department of Environment and Science (DES) Wildlife Officers have urged people not to feed crocodiles after removing a 4.5m crocodile from the Proserpine River.

Senior Wildlife Officer Tony Frisby said a member of the public reported seeing a crocodile, estimated to be about 4.5m long, swimming with a rope trailing from its mouth near the Glen Isla landing, a popular recreation spot at Proserpine.

“The crocodile had also been reported approaching people and boats near the water’s edge - behaviour consistent with an animal that has been regularly fed in that area,” Mr Frisby said.

“When DES wildlife officers arrived to conduct a site assessment, the crocodile immediately approached them at the river bank and remained floating nearby until they left.

“Based on the dangerous behaviour displayed by the animal, it was declared a ‘problem crocodile’ and targeted it for capture and removal.”

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, the Glen Isla landing section of the Proserpine River is in Zone E (General Management Zone). Any crocodile displaying dangerous behaviour is targeted for removal.

Mr Frisby said it was frustrating that a healthy crocodile had to be removed because of the careless behaviour of some people.

“Wildlife officers carefully removed a number of ropes from its mouth, showing it had taken baited ropes on more than one occasion.

“The department has received a number of reports of crocodiles being illegally fed by people using baited ropes at Glen Isla landing over the last few years, and we’re asking the public to cease this behaviour.

“Feeding crocodiles is extremely risky and not only alters their behaviour, it puts people in danger.

“It is an offence under Queensland’s conservation laws to feed dangerous native animals, such as crocodiles, in the wild and a maximum fine of $5222 can apply.

“Members of the public are advised not to feed crocodiles or dispose of fish scraps or bait near the water’s edge or boat ramps.”

Mr Frisby said due to its large size, (greater than 4m) the crocodile must be dealt with as an ‘icon crocodile’ under Queensland’s conservation laws.

“The animal can only be placed with a registered crocodile farm or zoo which agrees to use it for educational purposes about crocodile conservation,” he said.

“The placement of an icon crocodile must also be done in consultation with the relevant Traditional Owners.

“It is being held at a DES holding facility while arrangements are being made to accommodate and present the crocodile in accordance with its icon status.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

The Proserpine River is known Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • expect crocodiles in all north 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.

Read further information on being Crocwise.