The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is investigating after a fisherman captured a 1.7m estuarine crocodile from Peter Faust Dam at Proserpine and took it home.
DES believes that on 17 October 2020, the man was night-fishing in a boat on the dam when he saw what he thought was a crocodile’s eye shine and moved his boat closer.
After confirming the presence of a crocodile, he captured and restrained the animal and took it home. He later called DES so that a wildlife officer could retrieve the crocodile.
DES wildlife officers collected the crocodile from the man and placed it in a zoo.
DES wishes to remind the public that they should not harass or interfere with crocodiles, and that they run the risk of serious injuries if they approach, disturb or seek to interact with estuarine crocodiles of any size.
A 1.7m crocodile is quite capable of inflicting serious injuries on a person, particularly when it is feeling threatened.
In addition, 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.
Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.
Crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.
Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, the Peter Faust Dam is within Zone E (General Management Zone). This means that any crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.
Waters in the Proserpine/Airlie Beach region are known Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:
- Expect crocodiles in ALL Innisfail Queensland 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 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 calling 1300 130 372.