Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and local vets closely monitored the health and condition of a 5 metre ‘icon’ crocodile following its capture at Babinda in September 2020.
When the crocodile arrived at the DES facility it was underweight and in poor condition, with an abnormal bulge on the right side of its abdomen that prevented it from submerging. The animal had also lost all of its teeth.
In early October 2020, wildlife officers and local vets performed an internal examination of the animal’s internal organs and digestive system using x-ray imaging and an endoscope.
The results of the internal assessment, along with the animal’s poor body condition and abnormal bulge, were consistent with a severe intestinal blockage and possible rupture, which would have prevented the animal from processing food for at least the previous 12 months.
Due to the severe and chronic nature of the crocodile’s condition, its estimated age of 75+ years and the knowledge that large crocodiles do not respond well to major surgery, a decision was made to humanely euthanise the animal.
Wildlife officers and vets then conducted a necropsy, which confirmed the initial prognosis.