Amateur croc wrestler hit with formal warning
A PROSERPINE fisherman was victorious in his wrestling match with a 1.7m saltwater croc, but he could not escape the wrath of government bureaucrats.
The man captured and restrained the large crocodile at Peter Faust Dam while on an evening fishing trip in September.
A Department of Environment and Science spokeswoman said the man spotted the crocodile's eyes shine in the evening light and moved his boat closer.
After capturing the beast he took it home and the following day called a wildlife officer to remove it.
The 1.7m crocodile was retrieved and has since been placed in a Bloomsbury zoo, Bredl's Wild Farm.
But the fisherman's act of bravado has not impressed DES officers, who have snapped back with a formal warning letter.
"It is an offence under Section 88 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to deliberately interfere with, harm or kill an estuarine crocodile, with a maximum penalty of $30,026," a DES spokeswoman said.
"Based on information gathered during the investigation, DES has issued formal warning letters to those involved."
Rather than wrestle with the reptiles, she said residents should report crocodile sightings immediately by phoning 1300 130 372.
She said any crocodiles acting dangerously in the Peter Faust Dam would be targeted for removal.
She said the waterways around Proserpine and Airlie Beach were part of Queensland's extensive croc country, and reminded residents to be cautious around waterways.
In April Whitsunday residents reported a crocodile sighting at Funnel Bay and Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach.
DES said it set up permanent warning signs around Abell Point, but did not take further action about the Funnel Bay crocodile as it was a "well-known crocodile habitat (and) no concerning behaviour was reported".
How to be croc wise:
- Expect crocodiles in all northern and far-northern waterways in Queensland 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 the water's edge, at camp sites or at boat ramps
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
- Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead
- Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country
- Report all croc sightings to DES by phoning 1300 130 372.
* Source: Environment and Science Department