Sparkes: time to con­sider croc cull?

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

IT might be time to start think­ing of culling large crocodiles, the re­gional man­ager of Qld Surf Life­sav­ing, Col Sparkes, said on Tues­day.

Speak­ing gen­er­ally about the croc sit­u­a­tion, he re­ferred specif­i­cally to a large croc at Ke­warra that had evaded cap­ture for months, and an­other large one “in the ocean”.

Point­ing to a spate of sight­ings and in­ci­dents around beaches from south of Cairns to the Dain­tree, Mr Sparkes said lo­cal beaches were be­com­ing no-swim zones.

“I know when I do my vol­un­tary pa­trols of a week­end a lot of peo­ple ask me if there are crocodiles on this beach,” he told ABC Ra­dio on Tues­day.

“That’s from in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors and from lo­cals.

“And a lot of peo­ple won’t go in the wa­ter. They are quite con­cerned and they won’t go for a swim.

“That’s a real shame be­cause we’ve got beau­ti­ful beaches and es­pe­cially this time of year when we don’thave stingers about, this is when you should be out there en­joy­ing them.”

On Mon­day, CRC coun­cil­lor Brett Olds raised the mat­ter of the croc at Ke­warra which had been res­i­dent for months.

Mr Sparkes said as a young per­son grow­ing up in Cairns he would swim in Lake Placid and Kamerunga and no one had to worry about crocs. “But you wouldn’t swim in them now,” he said.

Asked what he thought needs to hap­pen, he replied that “cull is a four-let­ter word now, it’s never men­tioned in dis­cus­sion”.

“You can’t have crocodiles on the main tourist beaches in Cairns, and also Port Dou­glas, I know they have the same prob­lem at Four Mile Beach, and Etty Bay down at In­n­is­fail – these are our tourist beaches that the Far North re­lies so heav­ily on.

“I’ve been very re­luc­tant to use the word but I be­lieve we pos­si­bly have to look at a cull.”

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