Wally search goes on in Ross Creek
Sighting may have been a log
A LARGE crocodile was yesterday spotted basking on the banks of Ross Creek and circling boats.
But rangers charged with trapping Townsville’s elusive reptile said it was more likely to have been a log.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s comments came a day after a spokeswoman said the 4m crocodile that has been stalking Townsville’s waterways for almost six months had most likely moved on, or died.
Repeated sightings of the crocodile dubbed “Wally” have played havoc with waterway events including the Magnetic Island open water swim, which will be e cancelled if the croc is not ot caught.
An office worker contacted the EHP about 8am yesterday after spotting what he believed was a croc under the deck of Monsoons Bar and Grill from his window.
He sent a photograph to wildlife officers, who were on scene within an hour to conduct a land and water survey.
But after coming up empty- handed, the EHP declared it may have been mistaken for floating debris.
“The person who reported the sighting provided a photo from long range that does not appear to be consistent with a crocodile,” an EHP spokeswoman said.
“Debris in the water, especially logs, along with turtles, fish and dugongs can often be mistaken for crocodiles. Warning signs will be deployed and a wildlife officer will remain on site to monitor the area.”
Charter boat operator Robin Kitchin was helping wash down a friend’s small wooden boat just metres from the reported sighting.
Mr Kitchin didn’t see the animal but said he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the water if he had known about the reported sighting.
“They need to shoot the croc because it is only a mat- ter of time before someone gets attacked and then everyone will come out screaming, saying ‘ I told you so’,” he said.
“Rangers need to stake out the river until they see it.
“I know bleeding hearts will say don’t shoot it but wait until one of their kids gets taken.”
This week, EHP said the physical characteristics, behaviour and movement patterns of the 4m animal had always suggested it was likely to be sick and without its own territory. The department said it may have left the area or even have died.
Crocodile sightings can be reported to EHP on 1300 130 372. All reports are taken seriously and investigated.
Rangers need to stake out the river until they see it BOATIE ROBIN KITCHIN
ON LOOKOUT: Department of Environment and Heritage Protection scour Ross Creek near where what was believed to be a crocodile was spotted ( inset).