Barefoot Bushman offers to catch croc
WHITSUNDAY's Barefoot Bushman Rob Bredl is offering to catch the wounded Proserpine River crocodile who was shot with an arrow sometime between May 13-15.
Mr Bredl, who recently returned to the region after four years of minding the family's South Australia zoo, says he wants to know why authorities took three days to respond to an animal in distress, which may have been suffering severe pain. He also wants to know why attempts to capture the croc, known as 'Fat Guts' to local tour operators, have now been abandoned.
Mr Bredl, who once ran crocodile shows in Airlie Beach and keeps about a dozen 'salties' on his property at Bloomsbury, said he offered to take on the capture of this particular croc only to be told that protocol would not allow it.
"Yes, we have possibly one of the most experienced crocodile catchers in Australia here in Airlie Beach/Proserpine, yet they repeatedly appear to refuse to use our expertise - and it would cost the tax payer absolutely nothing, we will do it for free," he said. Executive Director Nature Conservation Services for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Geoff Clare, said the claim that it took three days to respond was incorrect.
"Wildlife rangers responded as soon as they received the report of the attack," he said.
Mr Clare said rangers had determined it was in the best interests of the crocodile to avoid the stress of capture unless its condition appeared to be deteriorating.
"Particularly since the arrow shaft has been broken, the crocodile is able to move unhindered, and it does not appear to be in any discomfort," he said.
But Mr Bredl says having a large wounded wild animal swimming around in a river frequented by people fishing and crabbing, both day and night, could have dire results.
"Sadly until an accident happens it appears nothing will be done," he said.