Newell saltie caught but croc trap re­mains

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

A LARGE croc­o­dile was yes­ter­day re­moved from Salt­wa­ter Creek near Newell Beach.

How­ever the traps are re­main­ing in place in case the 3.5m saltie was not the croc re­ported by res­i­dents.

On Tues­day the saltie was trapped but due to wild weather and the tides, stayed afloat overnight un­til the rangers could get to Newell Beach about mid­day yes­ter­day.

It took four rangers to get the large ag­gres­sive croc­o­dile and trap out of the wa­ter, to trans­port it to Mis­sion Beach to be as­sessed be­fore go­ing to a reg­is­tered croc­o­dile farm or zoo.

The rangers said they be­lieved this was the croc­o­dile re­cently re­ported by con­cerned res­i­dents, who spot­ted a 4m croc­o­dile stalk­ing the beach.

Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion An­drew Pow­ell said that any croc­o­dile dis­play­ing be­hav­iour that con­sti­tutes a threat to hu­man safety will be tar­geted for cap­ture and re­moval.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately the cap­ture of one croc­o­dile does not mean the re­gion is croc­o­dile-free,’’ he said.

‘‘Newell Beach is within an area of known croc­o­dile habi­tat and if any­one sees other croc­o­diles in the vicin­ity, this should be re­ported to EHP as soon as pos­si­ble.’’

Cook MP David Kemp­ton said rangers would be ac­tively trap­ping croc­o­diles all the time, with sev­eral other traps ac­tive across the re­gion, but the aim is not to rid the re­gion of croc­o­diles.

‘‘It’s not a cam­paign against croc­o­diles, it is to make places safe for peo­ple, whether it be bridges, rivers or boat ramps,’’ he said.

‘‘We ask peo­ple to let us know and we will re­spond, we are not out look­ing for croc­o­diles to catch, we are re­spond­ing to sight­ings and re­spond­ing quickly - that’s the pol­icy.’’

Re­port any croc­o­dile sight­ings to 1300 130 372, EHP in­ves­ti­gates all re­ports. For more in­for­ma­tion on be­ing Croc­wise in croc­o­dile coun­try go to www.ehp.qld.gov.au.

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