Warrina Lakes crocodile update

Issued: 3 Jun 2022

A crocodile that took up residency at the Warrina Lakes Botanical Gardens in Innisfail was captured and removed last night by wildlife officers.

Senior Wildlife Officer Dinouk Perera said the male crocodile was captured using a harpoon, which hooks into the animal’s skin but doesn’t cause any harm.

“This method of direct capture takes a lot of skill to get close enough to the crocodile by boat and throw the harpoon accurately before the animal submerges,” Mr Perera said.

“At around two metres long, the crocodile was larger than the initial estimates of less than a metre, and as it turns out, the animal has an unusually small head for its length.

“Our experienced wildlife team conducted an initial site assessment on 30 May but didn’t see the animal, and that’s why they went back again last night.

“Crocodiles can be more active at night, and it was a fantastic effort to remove the animal by harpoon without us needing to set a trap.”

The crocodile was first reported to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council on 27 May 2022.

DES wildlife officers provided council with recent crocodile sighting warning signs, which council installed, last Friday to alert the public of the crocodile sighting.

“I’d like to thank the Cassowary Coast Regional Council for their prompt assistance with this crocodile removal, and the ongoing support they provide wildlife officers for crocodile management in the council area,” Mr Perera said.

“Members of the public are encouraged to report all crocodile sightings in the Innisfail region as soon as possible, through the QWildlife app or by calling 1300 130 372.

“Our wildlife officers investigate every report we receive, and estuarine crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

“Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country, and Innisfail in known Croc Country, just please remember to always be Crocwise when you are near the water.”

Crocwise tips for people in Innisfail:

  • 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, camp sites or boat ramps
  • Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead

Read further information on being Crocwise.