Tour guide blasts decision to remove curious croc ‘Gump’


Mark Murray


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David White, from Solar Whisper Daintree River Crocodile & Wildlife Cruises, was mourning the removal of popular crocodile 'Gump' from the Daintree. IMAGE: David White.

DAINTREE tour operator David White is upset over a decision to remove a crocodile from the Daintree River.

Rangers form the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection removed a 2.5 metre crocodile, affectionately known as ‘Gump’, last week after it approached a person on the boat ramp at the Daintree Ferry on July 7.

White, who runs Solar Whisper Daintree Wilderness Cruises, condemned the EHP for a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. He witnessed the incident that led to its removal and said it was grossly unfair.

“This was not an aggressive crocodile at all,” he told Newsport.

“The croc was just curious, not aggressive, and started swimming over to a woman who was washing her hands on the boat ramp. If a crocodile is hunting it’s below the surface.

“But one phone call from someone who didn’t like it and they take it away.

“It’s really, really sad. If crocodiles aren’t safe in the Daintree River then where will they be?”

The experienced wildlife guide is disappointed with the reactive mindset of EHP, saying it was making it difficult to conduct tours.

He regularly cleaned up fish scraps left by people at the boat ramp near the Daintree Ferry for fear it would lead to the removal of a crocodile, and called for better education and signage by the EHP to prevent this behaviour.

“People just keep doing it though, so the same thing will just happen again,” White said.

“This crocodile was simply curious. She swims and traps prawns and is very popular on the river. It’s just unfortunate she is seen near the boat ramp from time to time.

“Now she’s gone. They say removed but we know what that really means.”

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