Cardwell crocodile sightings

Issued: 10 Feb 2021

Several sightings of the Cardwell crocodile have been reported to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) wildlife hotline following the release of footage of the animal eating two small sharks.

The vision shows the animal moving through the ocean towards the shore before eating two small sharks that had been left at the water’s edge by a fisher at a beach in far north Queensland.

This comes off of the back of a report that a member of the public allegedly fed a crocodile near the rail bridge over Salt Water Creek, Miallo.

It has prompted wildlife officers to remind the public of DES’s Crocwise messaging, particularly the dangers of feeding crocodiles and leaving food scraps lying around.

Feeding a crocodile is illegal, dangerous, and teaches crocodiles to associate humans with food.

Leaving whole fish, fish scraps or bait near the water’s edge can quickly attract the attention of any nearby crocodile.

The regular feeding of crocodiles, even if it is different people leaving fish scraps at a fishing spot or boat ramp over time, can affect their behaviour and encourage the animals to hang around the area, waiting for their next meal. This can place future visitors at increased risk.

Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Cardwell is in Zone E (General Management Zone). This means that crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal. This crocodile has not demonstrated dangerous behaviour towards humans.

Cardwell 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
  • Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country
  • Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372 or through the QWildlife App.

Further information on being Crocwise is available at: https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildlife/animals/living-with/crocodiles/croc-wise