Salties ‘getting cheeky’
BEACHSIDE residents claim local crocodiles are getting “cheeky” and need to be controlled.
Anecdotal reports suggest crocodiles have become more prevalent and active in the region, particularly around Wonga Beach where two dogs have been taken by salties in recent months.
Pinnacle Village van park manager Daryl Tenni said “they’re definitely hanging around”.
“They’re definitely getting cheeky,” he said.
“We all know there’s a big one at Hellens Creek, it tore a big dog in half.
“We’ve got a 10-footer that’s been hanging around the park for a while.
“We’ve seen his tracks, walking straight through the park from the beach entrance to the mangroves near the esplanade.”
Local fisherman “Scrubber” Harris said he knew of several crocs measuring at least 4m in local creeks and rivers, including the Mowbray.
“The big ones have been getting game over the last three or four years,” he said.
“That one in Hellen’s Creek is a nasty one, a long skinny green one, at least 16ft.
“The one at Rocky Point, he’s been chasing people along the beach.”
The Department of Environment and Resource Management told the Gazette this week it had not received any reports of aggressive crocodiles in local waters this year.
“The department has not received reports of crocodiles ’chasing joggers’ or ’chewing up dogs’, nor is there any evidence of increased number of crocodiles this year compared with previous years,” a statement from the department said.
DERM says it will act immediately to trap and remove all “crocodiles of concern” if they are reported.
Mr Tenni urged DERM to be more proactive in controlling crocodiles around populated areas.
“The Daintree River, fair enough, you expect to see crocs there,” he said. “But when they’re hanging around public beaches and boat ramps, you need to start knocking them on the head.
“Instead of putting out warning signs, why not just put out a trap?”
It appears some visitors to the beach are helping the crocs grow accustomed to hanging around popular fishing spots.
One reader reported to the Gazette nine large fish frames were discarded at the Rocky Point boat ramp this week, and it is a regular complaint.
If you want to let DERM know about a problem crocodile, fill out a report on www.derm.qld.gov.au.
Getting cheeky: local fifisherman Scrubber Harris reckons crocs have become a problem