Mowbray River icon croc removed from the wild

Issued: 28 Oct 2021

Image of a Mowbray River icon crocodile close up.Open larger image

Mowbray River icon crocodile close up.

Image of a Mowbray River icon crocodile close up.Open larger image

Mowbray River icon crocodile close up.

Image of a Mowbray River icon crocodile in a pond.Open larger image

Mowbray River icon crocodile in a pond.

Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife officers have captured and removed a 4.3-metre estuarine crocodile from the Upper Mowbray River after it was suspected of taking several weaner calves in the past few months.

Following a recent report to the QWildlife app, wildlife officers conducted a site assessment and confirmed the presence of the large crocodile.

During the site assessment, wildlife officers observed the crocodile displaying assertive behaviour, and the animal was unconcerned by the presence of the wildlife officers.

Given the location was near an informal swimming hole and a fishing area used by local children, a decision was made to declare the animal a problem crocodile and target it for removal from the wild.

The crocodile was captured in a baited trap on Sunday morning and taken to the department’s holding facility in Cairns.

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

This means the decision on where the crocodile will be placed and housed must be made in consultation with the relevant Traditional Owners.

Queensland’s conservation laws also specify that the animal may only be placed with a registered crocodile farm or zoo which agrees to use it for purposes directed at promoting estuarine crocodile conservation – such as by providing education about crocodile conservation, or information about crocodile ecology and habitat protection.

DES will work in partnership with Traditional Owners to select a suitable facility that can accommodate and present the crocodile in accordance with its icon status.

Crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan. Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible through the QWildlife app or by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country. The Port Douglas region is well known as being ‘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 the water, at camp sites, or at boat ramps
  • 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 or QWildlife app.
    Further information is on our Be Crocwise page.