Don’t tam­per with Dain­tree crocodiles

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

Dear sir,

As a na­ture guide on the Dain­tree River I con­sider my­self to have one of the best jobs go­ing around, as I am able to ob­serve the flora and fauna on a daily ba­sis and I share my knowl­edge and pas­sion with lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike.

The press­ing is­sue on the river is the ab­sence of Fat Al­bert an es­tu­ar­ine crocodile mea­sur­ing around five me­tres in length.

The fear that he has met with foul play seems likely, as this isn’t a crocodile to spook easy as he had an es­tab­lished dom­i­nance in the river.

With Fat Al­bert missing Scar­face, a crocodile mea­sur­ing around four me­tres, has moved into his ’ter­ri­tory’ and taken his girls. This is not a likely sit­u­a­tion if Fat Al­bert was alive, es­pe­cially as we are here in the mat­ing sea­son. The whis­per on the river is that Fat Al­bert is dead.

So it comes down to this; what sort of per­son would do this and what is their mo­tive? How many crocodiles have met with foul play? And how many more will meet with this fate?

While I do not wish to make any ac­cu­sa­tions, as 99% of prop­er­ties sur­round­ing the river re­spect the habi­tat, there’s al­ways some­one with a back­ward men­tal­ity.

On Mon­day I came across Lizzie, a res­i­dent crocodile who had dou­ble braided wire tightly wrapped around her jaws, so she would be un­able to feed. Sus­pi­cious? Hmmm. For­tu­nately she was bask­ing in the sun, so my­self and fel­low guides could see her sit­u­a­tion. An hour later she broke the wire free, the bit of blood on her jaw a friendly re­minder that maybe she shouldn’t be so trust­ing to­wards hu­mans in the fu­ture. the re­jec­tion of drug and al­co­hol abuse. “Moss­man Rocks” brought in­dige­nous and non-in­dige­nous Aus­tralians to­gether to suc­cess­fully pro­duce an al­co­hol-free show­case of mu­sic, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and com­mu­nity.

Moss­man Rocks was on in the same week that An­drew For­rest’s Gen­er­a­tionOne launched a head­line grab­bing na­tional cam­paign to “End In­dige­nous Dis­ad­van­tage”. Here, how­ever, nei­ther the Gazette nor the In­de­pen­dent even men­tioned “Moss­man Rocks in their edi­tions fol­low­ing the con­cert.

These two news­pa­pers have run many front pages about prob­lems in the lo­cal in­dige­nous com­mu­nity, and they knew about Moss­man Rocks.

It was a good news spec­tac­u­lar of sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion in a pos­i­tive in­dige­nous ini­tia­tive yet it re­sulted in no ar­ti­cles, no ed­i­to­rial and not even a photo.

Some read­ers may ask “Was the omis­sion due to racism?” Hope­fully, in one gen­er­a­tion, af­ter Moss­man has rocked an­other 20 odd times, this ques­tion will be part of the dis­tant past. Next year the event will be set up to ac­com­mo­date a larger crowd.

Yours in Good Hal­loween Spirit,

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