Wonga Beach crocs keep the rangers busy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

UP to three large crocodiles were spot­ted cruis­ing around Wonga Beach in one day late last week, prompt­ing a swift re­sponse from De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion and rangers from Ja­bal­bina.

Wonga Beach Car­a­van Park man­ager Bob Hando told the two crocodiles were spot­ted at the beach on Thurs­day morn­ing, with an­other spot­ted in the af­ter­noon.

On Fri­day rangers from Ja­bal­bina and EHP of­fi­cers were pa­trolling the beach af­ter an­other croc was spot­ted in the morn­ing. On Satur­day, an­other was seen.

Mr Hando said the croc on Fri­day was up to 4 me­tres long.

“He was fairly close in, just walk­ing in the knee-deep wa­ter,” he said.

“I normally just say they’re here (when re­port­ing them) . ... they’re not re­ally a prob­lem, we’re just con­cerned that lo­cals and vis­i­tors don’t know they’re in there so we asked for the sign to put up,” he said.

Mr Hando has his own croc­o­dile warn­ing A-frame sign that he puts out when he spots a croc­o­dile near the water­front of the park.

His sign re­mains on the beach for seven days from the last sight­ing.

He ex­plained that all vis­i­tors to the car­a­van park are no­ti­fied of the risks.

“We give them a lec­ture – we take them down to the beach and tell them all about the stingers and crocs.”

Mr Hando said the EHP only took a day to re­spond. “That’s the fastest they’ve been.”

When ap­proached, the EHP of­fi­cer could not say whether they had spot­ted the an­i­mal or not.

Pic­ture: JOYCE HANDO

A croc cruises the shore­line at Wonga Beach last week

Pic­ture: JOYCE HANDO

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