Dog dies, Knuth calls for croc cull

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

MEM­BER for Dal­rym­ple Shane Knuth is strength­en­ing the KAP’s call for a con­trolled croc­o­dile cull in north Queens­land af­ter a fam­ily pet was killed on the week­end in the lat­est spate of at­tacks.

Melissa Hor­ton’s fam­ily dog Rusty, a one-year-old pure­bred kelpie, was taken by a croc at the fam­ily prop­erty at Belvedere, just 5 km north of In­n­is­fail.

The in­ci­dent comes just weeks af­ter a horror week­end of croc­o­dile at­tacks, when a teenager was bit­ten on the arm in the John­stone River in In­n­is­fail, and a spearfish­er­man was killed in a sus­pected croc at­tack south of Cairns in mid March.

“At­tacks are on the rise, the crocs we’re see­ing are big, ag­gres­sive and ter­ri­to­rial, and crocs are sur­fac­ing in places they’ve never been be­fore,” Mr Knuth said.

“Peo­ple are pet­ri­fied to get out and en­joy the water­ways, even in safe ar­eas, with mem­ber­ship drop­ping in wa­ter sport clubs and iconic events can­celled due to croc sight­ings.

“Re­ports show seven beachism es have been closed due to croc sight­ings in the past three months.”

On a re­cent flight, Mr Knuth said he saw sev­eral crocodiles, one as long as 5.5 me­tres, just be­low the Bur­dekin Falls Dam.

He said the re­cent high rain­fall and flood­ing across the state could lead to even more croc ac­tiv­ity and at­tacks in the near fu­ture.

Mr Knuth said fail­ing to take ac­tion puts at risk Queens­land’s $11 bil­lion tour- in­dus­try.

“More than 22 mil­lion vis­i­tors come to Queens­land each year and con­trib­ute bil­lions to the state’s econ­omy.

“Peo­ple come to Queens­land to en­joy sun­shine and beaches, but the im­age they’re see­ing now is croc at­tacks and croc signs ev­ery­where; this is a very poor mes­sage to pro­mote to in­ter­na­tional tourism.”

The KAP will draft leg­is­la­tion to al­low for a con­trolled cull in pop­u­lated ar­eas across Queens­land.

Rusty — killed by a croc near In­n­is­fail

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