By Jim O’Toole, Townsville Bureau

A reported sighting of a salt water crocodile near Stradbroke Island turned out to be a dugong. After viewing social media footage Cairns News agrees the sighting was not a croc.

After 60 reported sightings of crocs in and around Cairns beaches and northern suburbs over the last month, any surface water is out of bounds until the excessive numbers are cleaned up preferably by shooting.

Mareeba on the northern Tablelands once was free of crocs in its waterways but since numerous small crocs escaped from a local croc farm during the massive Cyclone Yasi in 2011 they populated Two Mile Creek, small streams, Barron River and Granite Creek, all within walking distance of the town’s CBD.

Croc farms and zoos are overloaded with salties and do not want any more, especially over two metres long.

But the idiotic policy of the state Labor corporation is to catch and relocate crocs giving somebody else the problem.

Anyone silly enough to dip their toes in the Ross River in Townsville or the Barron River in Cairns deserves to be snapped up.

However there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of crocs living in southern Queensland waters over the years.

In the 70’s fishermen were quoted in the Gympie and Sunshine Coast media seeing salties in creeks and near beaches.

The Mary River at Maryborough was home to large crocs in the 60’s, indeed relatives of this scribe saw a monster alongside their dinghy when fishing in the Mary River circa 1965.

There were also claims of crocodiles being shot by farmers in the Mary River in the 70’s.

With the great explosion of saltie numbers from the Torres Strait to Gladstone it is not unrealistic to expect these deadly saurians to be seen in southern waters after being pushed out of usual territory by larger aggressive males..

The Queensland Labor Corporation claim only some salties are dangerous to humans but Aborigines and Islanders have long warned, in spite of this nonsense, that every saltie is dangerous from one foot long to 25 feet long.

Two years ago we invited wildlife officers who said they would only remove dangerous crocs from Cairns beaches, to get into the water and identify which ones should be removed.

Needless to say none of the state’s armchair experts took up the offer.

The mistaken croc seen at Straddie should be shot says Bob Katter

About five years ago several of our contributors passed on Facebook comments and a photo of a saltie seen in the Brisbane river.

Unfortunately the photo was lost in the ether.

Far Northern federal member Bob Katter yesterday commented on the Stradbroke sighting sternly advising media he “did not put any crocs near Straddie.”

He did however tell wildlife rangers that it “should be shot” because it was too close to people.

Absolutely correct Mr Katter.