Large crocodile removed from the wild – Mackay

Issued: 16 Feb 2023

Photo of the crocodile which was humanely euthanised after posing an unacceptable risk to the public.Open larger image

The crocodile was humanely euthanised after posing an unacceptable risk to the public.

The removal of a 3.8m estuarine crocodile from a creek near Mackay is a timely reminder for the local community to always be Crocwise around the region’s water bodies.

Senior Wildlife Officer Jane Burns, said a member of the public had reported a large crocodile approaching and following him to shore while he was surfing at North Wall Beach, in Mackay, on 09 February 2023.

“The man quickly warned other swimmers of the presence of the animal, and the crocodile then reportedly approached other swimmers, some of whom had to scramble up a rock wall to evade the animal,” Ms Burns said.

“The animal was later observed by wildlife officers in the Mackay Marina. Temporary recent crocodile sighting warning signs were installed in the area.

“During the weekend, wildlife officers conducted night-time spotlight searches around the harbour, Eimeo Creek and McCready’s Creek before extending their search into Reliance Creek.

“On 14 February 2023, a fisherman reported that a large estuarine crocodile had aggressively stalked him on the banks of Reliance Creek, describing how he had thrown rocks at it to drive it away.

“Wildlife officers assessed the animal as posing an unacceptable danger to the community and made the decision to humanely euthanise the crocodile on the spot.”

Ms Burns said estuarine crocodiles are highly mobile, and people in the wider Mackay region should be vigilant at all times.

“Since the beginning of 2023, there has already been 23 reported crocodile sightings in the Mackay region. By contrast, there has only been four crocodile sightings reported in the Rockhampton region.

“Mackay is Croc Country, and people are urged not to be complacent with their own safety or the safety of their family or their pets when they are in or near the water.

“During the recent investigation, wildlife officers located a 2.7m crocodile in Reliance Creek and a smaller animal in another nearby creek.

“Those animals were assessed as not posing a danger to the community, but people must understand that crocodiles are widely distributed throughout the Mackay region.

“In December last year, a 2-metre crocodile was removed from the wild at Bloomsbury and sent to a local farm.

“Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country.”

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 all crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by using the QWildlife App on their smart phone or by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

The Mackay region is well known Croc Country and people are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL Mackay 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

View photos in the media centre.

See further information on being Crocwise.