Iconic croc removed from the wild, Cooktown

Issued: 9 Feb 2022

Image of iconic croc being removed from the Endeavour River using a baited trap.

The iconic croc was removed from the Endeavour River using a baited trap.

Image of the male croc removed from the Endeavour River missing his right foot and the end of its tail.

The male croc is missing his right foot and the end of its tail.

Wildlife Officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) have captured and removed a 4.3 metre estuarine crocodile from the Endeavour River at Cooktown.

On 30 January 2022, DES received a report that a large crocodile had been acting aggressively towards residents and had recently taken at least two dogs from the area.

Wildlife officers conducted a site assessment and the animal was then declared a problem crocodile due to its size, location and bold behaviour.

On Saturday 5 February 2022, the large male crocodile was captured in a baited trap. It was then transported to a DES holding facility in Cairns.

The crocodile had sustained multiple injuries and wildlife officers believe these were caused by territorial disputes with other male crocodiles. The animal is missing both its front right foot and the end of its tail.

The department will conduct a thorough assessment of the croc’s condition within the next week, and the animal may need veterinary treatment.

Due to its large size, (greater than 4m) the crocodile must be dealt with as an ‘iconic 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.

It also means that the animal may only be placed with a registered crocodile farm or zoo which agrees to use it for educational purposes about crocodile conservation and their ecology.

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.

People in croc country are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL far northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign
  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water’s edge, at camp sites or boat ramps
  • Never feed, provoke or harass crocs
  • 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 when 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
  • 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

Find further information on being Crocwise.