Off-duty ranger attacked by crocodile

Issued: 11 November

Yesterday afternoon an off-duty ranger from Heathlands in far north Queensland was attacked by a crocodile.

It is believed the crocodile was about 2.5 metres long.

The ranger managed to poke the crocodile in the eye and get away.

He sustained serious injuries but managed to drive himself to the ranger station to receive medical assistance.

The ranger was then flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Cairns Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

He has injuries to his hand, thigh and arm and is expected to require surgery.

The ranger is being supported by his family and senior staff from the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Captain Billy’s Landing within Heathlands Resources Reserve has been closed while the DES investigates the incident. Wildlife Officers are en route to the location.

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. DES takes all reports of crocodiles seriously.

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

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Heathlands is in Zone E (General Management Zone). This means that any crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.

People living in Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL northern and 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.

See further information on being Crocwise.