Saunders Beach crocodile removed from the wild

Issued: 10 Sep 2021

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is reminding fishers to properly dispose of fish frames and bait after a 3.8m crocodile had to be removed from the wild near Saunders Beach, north of Townsville.

The crocodile was captured in a baited trap on 9 September, and will be rehomed in a farm or zoo.

A member of the public reported the crocodile to DES recently via the QWildlife app. Wildlife officers later observed the animal hanging around boat ramps and a pontoon at Purono Park on Althaus Creek.

DES wildlife officers believe the crocodile had been hanging around the boat ramps and pontoon because people had deliberately or inadvertently fed it discarded fish frames, fish scraps and leftover bait.

Discarded fish frames were observed in the area during the wildlife officers site inspection.

Wildlife officers set a baited trap and within 90 minutes the crocodile was caught – a strong indication the animal was used to feeding on discarded fish frames, fish scraps and leftover bait.

People should use bins at boat ramps to properly dispose of fish scraps and unwanted bait, or dispose of disused bait and fish carcasses at home.

The regular feeding of crocodiles can affect their behaviour and encourage the animals to remain in an area, waiting for their next meal.

People are responsible for their own safety in Croc Country, but the regular feeding of crocodiles can place future visitors at increased risk.

The penalty for deliberately feeding crocodiles is $5,222 and anyone with information about the deliberate feeding of crocodiles should call DES on 1300 130 372.

All crocodile sightings can be reported by using the free QWildlife app or by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

People in croc country 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 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 using the QWildlife app or by calling 1300 130 372

Further information on being Crocwise is available.

Vision and photos are available from our Media Centre.