Newell Beach croc cap­tured

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

A CROC mea­sur­ing al­most four me­tres and trapped by rangers off Newell Beach this week is be­lieved to be the elu­sive saltie which has been stalk­ing beach­go­ers and their dogs re­cently.

En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion rangers found the 3.7m long croc­o­dile in­side the trap at Salt­wa­ter Creek on Tues­day and re­lo­cated it to Mis­sion beach for as­sess­ment yes­ter­day.

It was the sec­ond croc­o­dile caught in the same trap in less than a month, how­ever this time they be­lieve it was the croc­o­dile swim­ming in close prox­im­ity to Newell Beach.

Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion An­drew Pow­ell said re­ports of a sec­ond croc­o­dile swim­ming in close prox­im­ity to Newell Beach had been re­ceived af­ter the first croc­o­dile was caught.

‘‘With this in mind, we opted to leave the trap in place,’’ Mr Pow­ell said.

‘‘Newell Beach is within an area of known croc­o­dile habi­tat and any croc­o­dile in the area that dis­plays be­hav­iour that con­sti­tutes a threat to hu­man safety will be tar­geted for cap­ture and re­moval.’’

Newell Beach res­i­dent Dal­las War­ren, who first alerted au­thor­i­ties to the large croc­o­dile’s men­ac­ing be­hav­iour, said it was a re­lief the croc­o­dile had been caught.

‘‘It’ll be a bit safer down here now they have got rid of that prob­lem boy, we can stick our toes in the wa­ter for now un­til the next one comes along,’’ he said.

‘‘Up the other end there is a croc­o­dile that just sits there and smiles at ev­ery­one, he is a lo­cal and not bad but this guy was nasty, go­ing for the dogs, so it’s great news and a bit of re­lief, even though you still have to be care­ful in the trop­ics.’’

Cook MP David Kemp­ton has been push­ing for more con­trol over prob­lem croc­o­diles in the re­gion and said they were con­fi­dent the prob­lem croc­o­dile has been trapped, al­though they are now on to the next one.

‘‘ A four- me­tre croc­o­dile was re­ported in Dick­son In­let to­day (Wed­nes­day),’’ he said.

‘‘We could do noth­ing or get an over­ac­tive cam­paign to get rid of ev­ery croc­o­dile, but we need to be prac­ti­cal about this and where a croc­o­dile is po­ten­tially in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple, we are go­ing to re­move them.

‘‘If we cleared all the croc­o­diles out of the area peo­ple will be­lieve it’s safe to go swim­ming and have a false sense of se­cu­rity, we can’t shift all the croc­o­diles and they do move back in, we are go­ing to have this prob­lem into the fu­ture.’’

Croc­o­dile sight­ings can be re­ported to 1300 130 372 at any time. In­for­ma­tion on how to be Croc­wise go to

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