Fitzroy River crocodile targeted for removal

Issued: 16 January

Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) will set a trap to capture a large crocodile that was recently seen taking a discarded shark carcass from the North Rockhampton Boat Ramp.

The crocodile was first reported to DES on 5 January. Wildlife officers investigated the report and determined that the crocodile’s behaviour indicates that it has been deliberately or inadvertently fed.

Senior Wildlife Officer Mic Conaghan said the animal is being targeted for removal from the wild as it now poses a danger to the public because of the actions of people who deliberately or inadvertently fed it.

“We have set a trap to capture the animal because it now associates people and boat ramps with food and that makes it a dangerous crocodile,” Mr Conaghan said.

“People need to be aware that deliberately or inadvertently feeding crocodiles is dangerous and risky behaviour and can have significant and serious consequences.

“Habituated crocodiles may start approaching people which is why it’s important to dispose of fish scraps properly by never leaving them on river banks or at boat ramps.

Mr Conaghan said Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 the maximum penalty for deliberately or inadvertently feeding a crocodile is $5222.

“It is disappointing that we have to remove this crocodile because of the behaviour of people,” he said.

“We have also learnt today that local fishers have again left more shark carcasses on the North Rockhampton Boat Ramp.

“The crocodile trap has been set near Gavial Creek and is baited and specifically designed to attract saltwater crocodiles.

“Members of the public are asked to stay well away from the trap to avoid placing themselves in danger and to maximise the chances of the animal being captured.

“I’m reminding people that the maximum fine for interfering with a crocodile trap is $15,138.

“We need the community to do the right thing in croc country, and we need fishers to stop deliberately or inadvertently feeding crocodiles.”

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.

Crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Rockhampton’s Fitzroy River is in Zone E (General Management Zone). This means that crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.

As the Fitzroy River is known Croc Country, people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL 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 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
  • 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
  • Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country
  • Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.

For more information please visit Be Crocwise.