4.5m icon croc caught at Newell Beach

Issued: 27 May 2021

Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife officers have captured a 4.5-metre crocodile from Newell Beach, north of Port Douglas.

DES declared the animal a problem crocodile in mid-May, after receiving reports of a large crocodile behaving in an aggressive manner around Newell Beach, Cooya Beach and in the mouth of the Mossman River.

One sighting report received by DES described the crocodile swimming around haphazardly with a crab pot stuck on its head.

DES wildlife officers set a crocodile trap at Newell Beach and the animal was captured and removed on 25 May 2021.

Due to its size, (greater than 4m) the crocodile must be dealt with as an icon crocodile under Queensland’s conservation laws.

The animal may only be placed with a registered crocodile farm or zoo which agrees to use it for educational purposes about crocodile conservation.

The placement of an icon crocodile must also be carried out in close consultation with Traditional Owners.

The department will work in partnership with Traditional Owners to select a suitable facility to receive and house the crocodile.

The croc is currently being held at a secure DES wildlife facility in Cairns while arrangements are 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, through the QWildlife app (available free on iOS and Android) or by calling 1300 130 372. DES assesses all sighting reports it receives.

Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country.

The Port Douglas-Mossman area is known Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. 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
  • Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.

Further information on being Crocwise is available.

Please visit the DES Media centre for footage and photos.