Watch out for wildlife in flood-affected areas

Issued: 14 Mar 2023

Heavy rain in parts of North West Queensland means crocodiles and snakes could turn up unexpectedly in flooded areas.

Burketown Shire and its surrounds is well-known Croc Country, so crocodiles should be expected in any body of water including floodwaters.

Crocodiles prefer calmer waters and they may be on the move as they search out a quiet place where they can wait for the floodwaters to recede.

Even very large crocodiles can be impossible to see in shallow murky water, so extreme caution should be exercised by residents and emergency workers.

Residents should stay out of the water and away from the water's edge wherever possible, as wildlife and animal carcasses can be found in flooded water systems and drains as well as other contaminants and debris.

People using boats should keep their arms and legs inside the vessel at all times, and remember that small vessels, including kayaks, can be overwhelmed by large crocodiles.

Similar to crocodiles, snakes are good swimmers and may also turn up in unexpected places.

Members of the public are urged to be careful while clearing out impacted homes, garages and sheds as wildlife, spiders and insects could be hiding in these areas.

While cleaning up, residents should wear enclosed footwear, gloves and suitable clothing and thoroughly check under furniture or other objects where wildlife could be concealed.

If a snake or other wildlife is found in a home or on a private property, members of the public can contact a local contractor to remove it safely.

Snakes and crocodiles are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take them from the wild.

If members of the public discover sick injured or orphaned wildlife which are not dangerous, they can contact 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) for advice and connection to local wildlife carers.

If you see a crocodile, report it as soon as possible to the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.

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

It is important to always be Crocwise in Croc Country.

A number of national parks may also be closed due to the current weather events. For a full list of national park and forest closures, visit park alerts.