Croc­o­diles do not make good presents

The Gympie Times - - NEWS -

RE­PORTS, real or imag­ined, of crocodile sight­ings in the Mary River near Gympie are dis­con­cert­ing but pale into in­signif­i­cance if the ut­ter stu­pid­ity wit­nessed in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory over Christ­mas is al­lowed to con­tinue.

A crocodile farm there has been sell­ing “pet” croc­o­diles, to peo­ple who have to reg­is­ter their “own­er­ship” and re­turn the an­i­mal when it reaches 60cm in length.

My time in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory showed me noth­ing if not that there’s more truly “red­neck” and ir­re­spon­si­ble peo­ple there than any­where else I’ve lived and I’m more con­vinced that not all crocs will end up be­ing re­turned than I can muster hope that they will be.

Lo­cally we have wild dogs to con­tend with.

Our wildlife is be­ing lost in whole­sale num­bers due to wild cats across the en­tire coun­try.

It’s not un­com­mon for those who keep feral tur­tles, fish and snakes to cause headaches for au­thor­i­ties by “dis­pos­ing” of their sup­posed pets sim­ply by re­leas­ing them into the wild. A small croc was re­cently found in sub­ur­ban Mel­bourne.

It’s one thing to come across a wild dog or cat, both of which can be fright­en­ing and dan­ger­ous but it’ll be quite an­other to be faced with a croc in a place where one as­sumes one is safe from them.

I con­sider my­self lucky to have worked with all sorts of folk in my life and I’ve known some who would think it the big­gest joke pos­si­ble to let a croc loose in a place where it could cause harm.

These aren’t peo­ple who re­spect the law to any de­gree, are of­ten tran­sient and very mo­bile.

We don’t live in a per­fect world, as is ev­i­denced by cre­ation of new laws vir­tu­ally ev­ery day to con­trol us all, be­cause of ac­tions of the low­est de­nom­i­na­tor.

And yet, when it comes to some­thing as ob­vi­ously fraught with po­ten­tial dan­gers as let­ting “any­body” have a pet crocodile our for­ever law mak­ing gov­ern­ments are nowhere to be seen.

For once I’m with Bob Katter, on crocs, and be­lieve we need to start culling, be­fore we get them in num­bers in our area.

But even that won’t come to much if we’re stupid enough to let peo­ple “own” any an­i­mal which they have no hope what­so­ever of con­trol­ling, is known to grown, can move lo­ca­tion rapidly, and is a proven killer.

Where is our fed­eral gov­ern­ment, with all the fear it uses for elec­toral pur­poses, when it comes to some­thing as dan­ger­ous as po­ten­tially let­ting croc­o­diles be taken to places they don't be­long?

— Dave Free­man, Cedar Pocket

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