Good fun un­til it isn’t

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

IT was good fun – so long as you weren’t in the wa­ter. If you walked rea­son­ably quickly you could keep up with that large croc that tran­sited Four Mile Beach on Mon­day morn­ing.

The beach was full of peo­ple, strung out lit­er­ally for kilo­me­tres en­joy­ing a morn­ing walk. Now they had the op­tion of keep­ing pace with the big croc.

It was ex­cit­ing, as watch­ing apex preda­tors al­ways is.

This one is pre­sent­ing a real headache for the au­thor­i­ties. The En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion Depart­ment had no sooner re­moved the trap – is­su­ing their stan­dard line that their quarry was ”pre­sumed to have moved on” etc, and “croc­o­diles move around all the time” etc.

Yep, ex­cept this one has been mak­ing more ap­pear­ances than Ge­orge the Grouper. He was seen eat­ing an­other croc up the In­let last week and was pho­tographed by a drone near the su­pery­achts a few days later.

And he’d tran­sited the beach last Thurs­day and Fri­day.

On Mon­day morn­ing Terri Ir­win was on the ABC Ra­dio talk­ing about croc man­age­ment. Sure she’s an ex­pert when it comes to the crocs in the Wen­lock River. Her the­ory is that it gives a false sense of safety if you re­move big crocs. They may be fewer but oth­ers are still in the wa­ter­ways.

So, she reck­ons, don’t go in the wa­ter. “You just don’t go and play on the free­way, do you?” she said.

Ex­cept our bathing beaches are not the free­way – they are bathing beaches, places that hun­dreds of thou­sands like to visit and en­joy – and we in­vite them to.

What is sen­si­ble for the Wen­lock River is not rea­son­able in Port Dou­glas.

She reck­ons the big ones are kind of su­per po­lice, keep­ing the younger ones in line and the sys­tem tick­ing over.

Great – get eaten by one of these rep­til­ian sher­iffs and it’s nice to know you’ve been taken out by a killer with a badge.

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