Croc sight­ing raises alarm be­fore busy time at The Strand

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A FOUR- ME­TRE croc­o­dile was spot­ted off The Strand over the week­end.

The croc­o­dile sight­ing came as crowds flocked to the beach­front for the sculp­ture fes­ti­val Strand Ephemera and just 24 hours be­fore the Mag­netic Is­land to Townsville Swim.

A De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion spokes­woman said wildlife of­fi­cers re­sponded to a re­port of a croc­o­dile 4km off­shore from Strand Park about 7am on Satur­day.

“The croc­o­dile was re­port­edly seen in the Mid­dle Reef area, head­ing to­wards Mag­netic Is­land,” she said.

“Mid­dle Reef is within the Gen­eral Man­age­ment Zone E ac­cord­ing to the Queens­land Croc­o­dile Man­age­ment Plan and any croc­o­dile dis­play­ing dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour is tar­geted for re­moval.

“It is quite pos­si­ble that the croc­o­dile was only mov­ing through the area and is now some­where else.”

Warn­ing signs have been erected on The Strand, as well as at the Townsville Port af­ter a 1.5m croc­o­dile was re­ported swim­ming in the Ross River to­wards the port on July 21.

The De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion spokes­woman said a mem­ber of the pub­lic had also re­ported see­ing two croc­o­diles 200m up­stream from the boat ramp at the north end of Bal­gal Beach on July 20.

“The first an­i­mal, re­ported to be ap­prox­i­mately 3m in length, was seen sun­ning on a bank while the sec­ond croc­o­dile was re­ported to be smaller with only the top of its head vis­i­ble from above the wa­ter,” she said.

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