The facts about the Palm Cover crocodile sightings

Issued: 28 Sep 2020

Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife officers received a report of a possible crocodile attack on a dog at Palm Cove Beach on Wednesday 23 September, and a further sighting report today (28 September).

The person reporting the incident last Wednesday advised DES that the crocodile may have taken a dog they had been walking along the beach at the time, after the dog had run out of sight. The person making the report did not see the crocodile take the dog.

In response to the original report, DES conducted a site assessment and erected recent crocodile warning signs at the estuary and passed the information on to the DES crocodile contractors.

DES wildlife officers are currently conducting a site inspection of the area in response to the report received today of a small crocodile in the estuarine lagoon behind Palm Cove Beach.

DES does not promote the view that nothing can be done about a crocodile at Palm Cove, due to it, “being in its natural habitat”.

This Palm Cove area is designated as Zone B under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan. This is an “Active Removal Zone”, which means that all crocodiles found are targeted for removal by DES contractors, regardless of the size or behaviour of the animal.

The crocodile trap in the South Palm Cove Estuary vicinity belongs to DES’s crocodile removal contractors. The contractors are highly skilled and use a variety of methods, such as using nooses or harpoons. Harpooning does not cause any harm to the crocodile, but results in a hook into the animals’ leathery skin allowing the animal to be hauled into the boat

DES asks members or the public to report any crocodile seen in the area as soon as possible. Crocodile sightings can be reported on 1300 130 372 and DES investigates all reports it receives.

Palm Cove is within known “Croc Country” and it is vitally important that everyone in far north Queensland  practices “CrocWise” behaviour. In particular:

  • Obey crocodile signs—they are there for your own protection
  • Never swim in water where crocodiles may live, even if there is no warning sign present
  • When fishing, always stand a few metres back from the water’s edge and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the water
  • Never clean fish or discard fish scraps near the water’s edge or at boat ramps
  • Stay well back from any crocodile slide marks. Crocodiles may still be close and may approach people and boats
  • Keep your arms or legs inside of the boat when fishing
  • Never provoke, harass or interfere with crocodiles—even small ones
  • Never feed crocodiles—it is illegal and dangerous
  • Never leave food scraps at your campsite. Always check that previous campers haven’t left any food scraps
  • Never prepare food, wash dishes or pursue any other activities near the water’s edge or adjacent
  • sloping banks
  • Be more aware of crocodiles during the breeding season—September to April.