Salt water crocodile killed
INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the death of a four-metre estuarine salt water crocodile.
The croc was found dead, tethered to the mangroves in Repulse Creek by local resident Mark Norman who was fishing there on Sunday, February 16.
Mr Norman, who works as a tour guide for Proserpine’s Whitsunday Crocodile Safaris, inspected the creature and found a piece of rope extending from its mouth.
He said the rope seemed to be tied off to the trees and was irretrievable, given the height of the tide. In Mr Norman’s opinion, “this was obviously an illegal killing”.
“People sometimes think they have the right to control what’s around them but crocodiles are highly protected by law,” he said.
“Crocodiles are part of our environment here and in a remote area like that it seems unfair for a crocodile to be targeted like this.”
Mr Norman reported his findings to the Whitsunday Water Police who notified the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).
An EHP spokesperson confirmed rangers were investigating the incident. The spokesperson said forensic evidence was gathered last week and indicated that the animal was not hook baited.
“Investigations are continuing as to how the animal became attached to a rope.”
The spokesperson said illegally taking a protected animal was an offence under the Nature Conservation Act, with penalties ranging from fines of $11,000 to $330,000 or two years’ jail.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: A four-metre-long estuarine crocodile was found dead in Repulse Creek. The crocodile was tethered to the mangroves and investigations into the manner of its death are now underway.