A shredded headless croc found in an irrigation pump at a property along the Burdekin river
A shredded headless croc found in an irrigation pump at a property along the Burdekin river Contributed

Headless croc a shocking find hanging from canefarmer's pump

A NORTH Queensland farmer's encounter with a shredded headless crocodile has renewed calls for a cull, with fears it is a matter of time until the predators become commonplace in Mackay.

The 1.5 metre-long headless freshwater croc was found hanging from an irrigation pump after being sucked in about a month ago.

The Burdekin farmer, who chose to remain anonymous, said he's found chunks of crocodile "swirling around" his pumps before but never one that was nearly whole.

"What happened was it swirled around in the intake and as it got sucked in, its head has gotten separated from its body I suppose," he said.

"We've got some here that are a couple of meters... the one that suns himself is about 3 metres.

"There are a few on the farm. Freshwater crocs are being forced out of the estuaries of the Burdekin because the bigger crocodiles are territorial... and push the smaller ones further upstream."

The farmer said he knows there are at least four freshwater and one saltwater crocodile on his property along the Burdekin River.

While he has not had to take matters into his own hands, the farmer admits he will have to if nothing changes.

A shredded headless croc found in an irrigation pump at a property along the Burdekin river
A shredded headless croc found in an irrigation pump at a property along the Burdekin river Contributed

"It's like all wild creatures, the human race needs to work out whether they can co-habitat with them or not, and there are places where you can and there are places where you can't," he said.

"The simple answer is is that you cull the crocodiles downstream, then the next generation won't be forced upstream.

"If it means the difference between the life of a crocodile and the life of employee, then unfortunately the crocodile will lose its life.

"I can guarantee you there are crocs watching people in Mackay right now... just because they haven't seen one doesn't mean they're not there."

The find comes as a parliamentary committee continues to work on a proposed crocodile management plan put forward by Katter's Australian Party MP Shane Knuth.

The Safer Waterways Bill seeks to install an authority that manages crocs and ensures any croc that is in freshwater, public boat ramps, or public places is removed within 48 hours.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan, who is on that committee, said crocodiles are "breeding like rabbits" and need to be controlled before a catastrophic incident occurs.

"They're breeding like rabbits, and they're showing up in places that they didn't use to be and it's downright dangerous," he said.

"[Farmers and graziers] have to keep an eye out for crocs now more than ever before as they go about their daily work.

"My personal view, and I've made it clear to my colleagues, and to the community, that we need a culling program of some description to thin out the numbers."

Burdekin MP Dale Last said crocodile incursions have already made a real world impact in the falling number of nippers joining Surf Life Saving Clubs in his electorate.

"They've done enough croc counts, there needs to be some concrete action," he said.

"In extreme cases they need to be trapped and permanently removed."

A public hearing for the Bill will be held in Mackay on August 29 at Rydges Mackay Grand Suites from 10am.


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