Aerial survey finds big croc
A POTENTIAL maneater crocodile seen lurking near Mareeba will be targeted for immediate removal.
The Department of Environment has kept its recent promise to conduct aerial inspections of Mareeba waterways and this week confimed there are more saltwater crocodiles in the region.
Two sightings were confirmed by EHP Wildlife officers who led a helicopter inspection on Tuesday around Two Mile Creek, Mareeba Wetlands, sections of the Barron River, Lake Mitchell and various smaller dams.
There has also been an estuarine crocodile reported in a Mareeba farm dam.
One crocodile, which was spotted in the south-western corner of Lake Mitchell was four metres long and another croc spotted Two Mile Creek was half the size.
EHP’s acting executive director for conservation and biodiversity Lindsay Delzoppo said the four-metre croc had never been reported to EHP on their crocodile sighting hotline but local residents had made reliable reports of a ‘big saltie’ in the area.
“The information gathered from the air on the current locations of these crocodiles will greatly assist wildlife officers in their removal operations,” he said.
“Wildlife officers also spotted a crocodile, just over 2 metres at Two Mile Creek.
“EHP has already targeted that animal for removal and the removal effort is continuing.
“Wildlife officers are also working to remove a 60cm estuarine crocodile reported in a farm dam in Mareeba.”
A local helicopter operator has already been contracted for the inspection following the removal of four estuarine crocodiles from Mareeba waterways so far this year.
Mareeba Shire is classed as Zone E in the crocodile General Management Zone which means crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour will be targeted for removal by EHP.
During a Mareeba Chamber of Commerce meeting in July, Melaleuca Crocodile Farm owner Juergen Arnold offered to receive training to allow him to catch crocodiles in the region.
A EHP spokeswomen said the proposal to provide crocodile training management to staff at the Melaleuca Crocodile Farm has been agreed inprinciple and is being progressed.
“Two employees from the Melaleuca Crocodile Farm have undergone crocodile management training with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection,” the spokeswomen said.
Property owners with crocodiles on their land will be contacted by the EHP to access their land to remove crocodiles.
To report a crocodile sighting call 1300 130 372.
Wildlife officers also spotted a crocodile, just over 2 metres in length, at Two Mile Creek. EHP’s Acting Executive Director Lindsay Delzoppo