Four-metre Salt Water Creek crocodile targeted for removal

WILDLIFE

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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A crocodile trap similar to this has been placed in Salt Water Creek to remove the crocodile "Howard." Image: Newsport.
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A crocodile known as “Howard” to Douglas Shire locals has been labelled a problem animal and targeted for removal by the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

The four-metre reptile was reported in Salt Water Creek off the Mossman-Daintree Road last week.

One resident took to social media to bemoan the situation claiming the crocodile is not dangerous.

A post on the ‘Port Douglas & Mossman Whinge Wail & Moan’ Facebook Page reads:

“Very sad to see the croc trap at Saltwater (sic) for Howard. Pls (sic) advise if anything can be done?

“I’m reasonably new to FNQ but for the life of me I don’t understand why they would set a trap for him.

“He’s not in a swimming hole or anywhere near the tourists. In fact he’s attracting them and their money. Shame on whoever decided he needed to be trapped.”

The DES said they received reports about the animal on Monday, 19 August and wildlife officers conducted a subsequent assessment of the area.

“The caller reported seeing a large crocodile basking on the creek bank behind private property, “ a DES spokesperson said.

“DES wildlife officers conducted a site assessment and observed a large crocodile, approximately four metres in length, basking on the bank close to residences and a commercial facility.

“The animal did not move when approached by the wildlife officers.

“In this case, given the size of the crocodile, location and behaviour, a decision was made to declare the animal a problem crocodile and on 23 August a trap was set to capture the animal.”

The spokesperson said once the crocodile is captured, it will be transported to a crocodile farm, zoo, or wildlife park.

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, the Mossman Daintree Road within the Douglas Shire is in Zone E (General Management Zone) and crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.

Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by calling 1300 130 372 and the DES investigates all reports it receives. 


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