Swimmers scramble up rock wall to escape crocodile in Mackay

February 17, 2023 9:50 am in by

A 3.8 metre crocodile has been removed from a creek, near Mackay.

The estuarine crocodile was reported over a week ago at North Wall Beach, when it approached multiple swimmers.

Senior Wildlife Officer Jane Burns says the crocodile had moved towards a member of the public while he was surfing and followed him to shore.

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“The man quickly warned other swimmers of the presence of the animal, and the crocodile then reportedly approached other swimmers, some of whom had to scramble up a rock wall to evade the animal,” she says.

“During the weekend, wildlife officers conducted night-time spotlight searches around the harbour, Eimeo Creek and McCready’s Creek before extending their search into Reliance Creek.

“On 14 February, a fisherman reported that a large estuarine crocodile had aggressively stalked him on the banks of Reliance Creek, describing how he had thrown rocks at it to drive it away.

“Wildlife officers assessed the animal as posing an unacceptable danger to the community and made the decision to humanely euthanise the crocodile on the spot.”

Ms Burns said estuarine crocodiles are highly mobile, and people in the wider Mackay region should be vigilant at all times.

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“Since the beginning of 2023, there has already been 23 reported crocodile sightings in the Mackay region.

“By contrast, there has only been four crocodile sightings reported in the Rockhampton region.

“Mackay is Croc Country, and people are urged not to be complacent with their own safety or the safety of their family or their pets when they are in or near the water.

“During the recent investigation, wildlife officers located a 2.7m crocodile in Reliance Creek and a smaller animal in another nearby creek.

“Those animals were assessed as not posing a danger to the community, but people must understand that crocodiles are widely distributed throughout the Mackay region.”

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Members of the public are encouraged to report all crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by using the QWildlife App on their smart phone or by calling 1300 130 372.

The Mackay region is well known Croc Country and people are reminded to always be Crocwise.

These are tips from the Department of Environment and Science:

Expect crocodiles in ALL Mackay waterways even if there is no warning sign
Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe
Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night
Stay well away from croc traps – that includes fishing and boating
The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks
Stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure
Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water
Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp
Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead