Social media lights up over Four Mile Beach crocodile


Mark Murray


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Port Douglas surf lifesaver Conor O'Sullivan is surrounded by tourists as he gets a better vantage point of the crocodile on Four Mile Beach. IMAGE: Kelly Vella.

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THE crocodile that closed Four Mile Beach yesterday has lit up social media.

Tourists are still talking about the incident that saw a crocodile, between 3.5m and 4m long, pop up near the main swimming area just after 10.30am. The animal got within 20 metres of the shore as it cruised south along the coastline in plain sight for more than two hours.

The Visit Port Douglas and Tourism Port Douglas Facebook pages both picked up Newsport’s story where it has reached over 200,000 people. It has generated over 1200 comments and been shared more than 300 times.

Tourists left gobsmacked as large crocodile closes beach

Most people were in disbelief a crocodile could be seen in beach waters during peak swimming hours, again raising questions whether a vastly improved education campaign is needed for Port Douglas.

“That's some holiday ruining stuff right there,” said Emma Forrester.

“Never swimming again,” Anna Whalen said.

Lisa Bott asked a friend ‘should we cancel?’ while Jennie Aqueci explained ‘So the waitress was not kidding when she said there were crocs in the ocean!’

Locals who witnessed the croc, and a host of regular visitors, remarked on its proximity to the shore.

“First time I’ve seen a croc swimming in this close on Four Mile,” said Gaye Ferguson.

“Pretty spectacular sight but I am glad I was walking and not swimming.”

Greg Sharp, a regular holidaymaker from Geelong, said it was a ‘game changer’.

“I’ve never seen one so close to swimmers and at this time of the day,” he told Newsport. “It’s 11am and the beach is full of people ready to swim. It’s a game changer for sure.”

Under the new crocodile management zoning of Four Mile Beach the animal will now be targeted for removal. A floating trap was deployed up Dicksons Inlet on Friday to catch a similar sized animal - likely to be the same one - also seen on the beach last Thursday and Friday.

Still, not everyone agrees. Michelle Williamson said the croc should be left alone.

“It's just passing through... Like they've done for thousands of years,” she said.

Cindy Maneylaws commented ‘Gobsmacked? Hardly! It's prime crocodile habitat. Anyone swimming there is either uneducated or a fool. Stick to the sand and you'll be fine.”

David Bonner, from England, took it further, ‘Well they must be dumb beachgoers…up at the top part of Australia, where they (crocodiles) live… I would be surprised if I saw one on the beach in England.”

A smaller crocodile was also removed from Dicksons Inlet earlier this month.

What's your view? Let is know in the comments below.

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