Category Archives: crocodiles
November 16, 2017 – The number of life savers available to patrol Port Douglas beaches will continue to fall because parents are no longer enrolling their children in Nipper programs for fear they will become victims of a crocodile attack.
State KAP Leader Robbie Katter and Michael Bolt, vice president of the Port Douglas Surf Life Saving Club were united in their call for immediate action on the growing crocodile menace.
“This is the tip of the iceberg of the unforeseen repercussions due to the expanding territories crocs are claiming which are impacting on North Queensland communities,’’ Robbie said.
“Less life savers patrolling beaches, tourism numbers dropping, loss of the Northern Queensland lifestyle and water sports operators suffering business downturns, all due to government inaction on removing crocodiles.
“It’s not rocket science.’’
Mr Bolt said a 20 per cent drop in Nipper members at the Port Douglas S.L.S.C also meant less parents were available to help patrol beaches.
“The same problems are being experienced at Port Douglas, Ellis Beach, Mission Beach and in Cairns. Parents are telling us that 100 per cent the reason they are not enrolling their kids in Nipper programs is due to fear of a crocodile attack.
“When we get to the stage there are not enough people to patrol the beaches the club will have to fold – that’s not good for community water safety.
“We have had to close Port Douglas Beach seven times in the past year due to crocodile sightings. The numbers seem to be increasing every year. Five years ago we didn’t have this problem at all.’’
Robbie Katter said commitment to the KAP’s croc solution would be a condition of support for either major party to form Government.
“This is a priority issue for all members of the KAP. We’re a regionally focused party and we’re sick of seeing our lifestyles and the safety of our people undermined by decisions made in Brisbane,” Robbie said.
KAP Member for Dalrymple and candidate for Hill Shane Knuth said the Safer Waterways Bill may set a new record for being the longest bill ever debated.
“We introduced this bill in parliament in May. I would have thought the government and the opposition would have wanted to get the bill through quickly so it’s benefits become tangible and people can be protected,’’ he said.
“Instead they used their numbers in parliament to ensure debate was put out until 2018.’’
KAP candidate for Cook Gordon Rasmussen said the people of Cook wanted actions, not counts.
“People need to come before crocodiles – whether they are lifesavers or the general public, their safety is not negotiable.’’
from the Guardian
A massive saltwater crocodile – said to be one of the biggest ever seen in Queensland – has been found shot dead in the Fitzroy River near Rockhampton.
Police and state environmental officers are investigating after the 5.2-metre male reptile was found with a bullet in its head in the Fitzroy river in Rockhampton on Thursday.
The crocodile was taken to the nearby Koorana crocodile farm, where it will be buried once a necropsy is carried out. Farm owner John Leaver said a five-metre crocodile had not been caught in Queensland for 20 to 30 years.
“There may have been some others shot in the wild that we don’t know about, but from my recollection, over the past three decades this would be the largest,” he said on Friday.
Leaver, who ran a crocodile removal service across the state for 20 years, said the largest one he ever caught was 4.95m in the late 1980s. “We caught that one up near Airlie beach [in Queensland],” he said.
Leaver said it was not unusual for a crocodile of that size to be found so far south. The farmer said Rockhampton locals used to shoot crocodiles “equal to that size” in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, before it was illegal.
It is believed the 5.2m reptile had been dead for a few days before a member of the public spotted it floating and notified environmental officers.
Leaver said the gunshot had caused a large hole in the top of the saltwater crocodile’s skull, suggesting the bullet came from a “fairly large-calibre rifle”.
“I would say that someone felt very threatened,” he said, when asked why he thought it had been shot.
Innisfail man charged with shooting a croc
A north Queensland man has been charged with killing and decapitating a crocodile to keep its skull as a trophy.
The crocodile skull was allegedly found during a raid of a home at Eubenangee, north of Innisfail in the state’s far north, on 1 June.
The environment and heritage protection department is still working to confirm if the crocodile skull came from the carcass of a four-metre crocodile that was found dead on a creek bed on a private property at Innisfail in April.
The man has been charged with a number of offences, including taking a protected animal, as well as weapons and drugs offences.
The maximum penalty for killing a crocodile without authorisation is $27,425.
The 60-year-old is due to face Innisfail magistrates court on 10 July.
Cairns News has been told by indigenous people of several large crocs living near the tip of Cape York that are more than 5.2 metres in length. The Mareeba crocodile farm has at least one croc measuring 5 metres in captivity. Aboriginal communities on both the east coast and west coast of Cape York report large crocodiles menacing their communities.
Recently a dog was grabbed on mudflats near Daintree. The owner was next to the dog when the 4.5m croc, camouflaged in mud, grabbed the unlucky canine and the lucky owner nearly had a heart attack.
We have had numerous reports of crocs that have been shot in the north over the past 12 months. The hopeless and stupefied LNP and ALP have thrown the people of the north to the crocs, by holding up the Katter’s Safer Waterways bill. We say we don’t blame fed-up people shooting crocs. We also say the corporation has no power to prosecute a citizen.
It is a puerile argument to expect the understaffed, under-resourced and uncaring EPA to respond to a crocodile sighting or facilitate their removal, by any means.
Letter to editor
Mrs Terri Irwin from Australia Zoo near Weipa has placed the lives of salt water crocodiles above that of people.
It’s a fact the government purchased a Cape York property for $6 million to hand over to Australia Zoo some years ago.
But how can Mrs Irwin place animal lives over humans?
I have been told by tourists who visited Australia Zoo near Weipa, Mrs Irwin’s wildlife officers have tagged more than 130 saltwater crocodiles in a short stretch of the Wenlock River.
The river ecology simply cannot tolerate such a high incidence of estuarine crocodiles. Soon these crocs will start preying on each other because the fish population and any other animals on the croc menu will have been eaten out.
Indigenous people have told me there are far too many saltwater crocs and fish numbers have been seriously depleted in Peninsula waterways because of the explosion in numbers.
Mrs Irwin said on radio that more croc warning signs needed to be erected on beaches and at airports and schools should educate children that they can no longer go near any water anywhere in the north.
How does Mrs Irwin expect tourist operators to promote beaches and rivers for swimming and fishing when it is too dangerous to go near the water? What about the life savers?
Do indigenous people get a say over croc management? After all most of the crocs live in rivers and creeks on Aboriginal controlled land and coastal waterways north of Townsville.
Why does Mrs Irwin who does not live in North Queensland feel she should have more say than indigenous and local residents over croc management?
The ALP and LNP refuse to fast track KAP Safe Waterways legislation that will help protect tourists and northern inhabitants from attacks.
Twenty years ago we did not have this problem in the north.
How many more people and animals need to be devoured by the large, rapacious crocodile population before the party duopoly wakes up?
Gordon Rasmussen, KAP candidate for Cook
Young dog taken by huge croc near Innisfail
Two days after a huge crocodile devoured a six-month-old puppy in North Queensland, the major parties have refused to declare KAP’s Safer Waterways bill as urgent.
KAP’s Shane Knuth today sought leave to fast track the Safer Waterways bill so it could be voted on by October. Labor and the LNP ganged up to block Shane’s request, meaning Queensland will have to wait until at least the end of March next year for a vote.
In seeking leave, Shane read out a letter from a constituent (who did not want to be named):
“We live on the banks of the South Johnstone River in Mourilyan, North Queensland. On Tuesday afternoon we lost our six-month-old purebred white Sheppard to a very large crocodile. As we live very close to the river our dog had gone down to the water’s edge, failing to call her up to our yard we went down to try and get her when the crocodile just so quietly grabbed her and took her into the water. This was absolutely terrifying for both my partner and myself as we weren’t aware it was there and it could easily have been us.
About half hour or so after our puppy was taken on Tuesday, we were sitting there looking over the river when another two crocs showed up! It was like feeding time at the zoo.
Please help us to do something about these monsters, we need dogs for security reasons, but it’s simply too dangerous for them and traumatic for us.”
It’s the second puppy they’ve lost to a crocodile on their property in less than a year.
Shane Knuth introduced the Safer Waterways bill on 25 May. The legislation would make it mandatory for rogue crocodiles to be removed from populated Queensland waterways. It would also empower landowners to manage crocodiles on their own land.
“I cannot believe that Labor and the LNP don’t think this urgent,” Shane said. “This is clearly a safety issue. This family’s puppy being eaten on Tuesday is not an isolated incident.”
Shane tabled four news articles from the last 12 months; Croc kills family dog in Innisfail; Croc kills spear fisherman in Palmer point; Croc kills tourist at Thornton Beach; Report confirms that Queensland’s saltwater crocodile populations are rising.
“If someone else is killed by a crocodile, the government and LNP will have a lot of explaining to do. We need to act now,” Shane said.
At a Mareeba Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday , Environment and Heritage Protection Chief Prosecutions officer David Cook, agreed to remove all crocodiles from the Mareeba area after positive sightings had been confirmed by the department. Helicopter surveillance would begin starting July 24, 2017, Mr Cook said.
He agreed to give local crocodile farm owner Juergen Arnold a permit, allowing him to remove crocodiles from the area for relocation to his croc farm.
“Mr Arnold will be handed a permit this weekend,” Mr Cook told the meeting.
After the meeting Mr Cook admitted, following Australia-wide publicity, the attack on a cane worker had brought the crocodile plague in the Mareeba farming district to a head.
The aerial surveillance would initially be carried out over one day, but Mr Cook said officers would respond immediately to any sightings. The EHP officers agreed if a crocodile could not be trapped or caught and transported to a croc farm it would be culled.
The Safer Waterways bill, designed to remove crocs from populated areas and tabled by Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth, is before the Environment Committee for consideration.
Mr Knuth however, fears the Labor Government will attempt to delay its passage until after the upcoming state election.
“I intend to move a motion at the next sittings to have the bill debated. We can’t afford any more accidents like the Mareeba attack,” Mr Knuth said.
A cane harvesting contractor had to prise open the jaws of a salt water crocodile with a large spanner to remove the hand of a worker who attempted to move the 1.4 metre reptile from a cane paddock.
The attack occurred Sunday at a Peters Road farm, three kilometres from the Mareeba CBD when company work place safety officer Daryl Bell was called by a harvesting machine operator to capture the croc and tape its jaws before removing it.
The injured animal “latched onto my hand puncturing my thumb and fingers and it would not let go,” Mr Bell said.
“The operator grabbed the tail and I grabbed the jaws but its skin started to peel off, I lost my grip and it grabbed my hand.
“Its teeth went right through my thumb nail and a finger.
“I felt sorry for the croc because it had been burnt and I had no intention of hurting it.”
Mr Bell was taken to Mareeba Hospital to get treatment and was released after his hand had been bandaged and treated to prevent infection.
Owner of Harvest Mareeba, Bruce Craven said he prised open the animal’s jaws to remove Mr Bell’s hand.
Threats of prosecution made by Environment and Heritage Protection officers to local farmers should they interfere with crocodiles, led Mr Craven to contact the department in Cairns for advice about the injured reptile.
He said it took more than two hours to get an officer on the phone.
“They told us to take it to a vet who then euthanized it,” he said.
Mr Craven said the croc had been burnt the previous day in a cane fire and was not discovered until the machine operator saw it while he was harvesting standing cane.
“Having crocodiles in a cane paddock places my men in a dangerous situation and this croc should not have been in the cane.
“They are not supposed to be on the Tablelands,” Mr Craven said.
“Children ride bikes along this road next to the irrigation channel where the crocs live.
“The EHP has been contacted in the past about removing crocs from this area but they refuse to do anything about the danger.”
Julatten cane harvesting contractor Gordon Rasmussen, the Katters Australian Party candidate for Cook, was at the scene and was critical of the State Government for “dragging its feet”, trying to prevent the KAP’s ‘Safe Waterways’ legislation from being introduced into Parliament before the upcoming election.
“Shane Knuth (Member for Dalrymple) has the bill ready to go so we can do something about controlling the explosion of crocs in the Mareeba area and throughout the north,” Mr Rasmussen said.
“There should be no salt water crocodiles on the Tablelands and here we have a serious incident that has been reported to the Workplace Health and Safety Department by medical authorities because this was a work place accident.
“The State Government seems quite happy for farmers to be attacked by crocs and I can understand why farmers are reluctant to remove dangerous crocs because the Environment Department will chase them through the courts for a $25,000 fine.
“Mr Knuth said he will try to have the bill debated and passed in August.
“We have to do something now.”
A pastor in Zimbabwe was eaten by crocodiles when he decided to emulate Jesus, and attempt to walk on water. The pastor was trying to recreate the infamous biblical legend, which has been called a miracle by some, but his choice of waterways led to his demise.
According to Zimbabwe Today, Jonathan Mthethwa with the Saint of the Last Days Church attempted to perform the feat in a water body nicknamed “Crocodile River.” The river is widely known for its infestation with the deadly reptiles. Witnesses said Mthethwa made it 100 feet before crocodiles viciously attacked the man. The pastor had walked out into the water and was attempting to rise from it when he was brutally attacked.
Deacon Nkosi, a church member, reportedly said, “They finished him in a couple of minutes. All that was left of him when they finished eating him is a pair of sandals and his underwear floating above the water.” Nkosi then said, “We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.” But the crocodiles made it obvious that they didn’t care much about the fasting beforehand. Emergency crews were on the scene within 30 of the initial attack, but it was all over by then. All they found was the single sandal and the underwear.
Before attempting the feat, Mthethwa brought his congregation to the river to witness his attempts to walk on water. Horrified members of the Saint of the Last Days Church said the pastor was completely devoured in a “couple of minutes”.
“The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week. He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he, unfortunately, ended up drowning and getting eaten by 3 large crocodiles in front of us,” said Deacon Nkosi.
It only took three crocodiles less than five minutes to completely consume a full grown man. But crocodile attacks happen often in Zimbabwe. Efforts have even been taken to reduce the number of crocodiles in certain waterways to protect people.
A police spokesman said, “This year we had too much rains and it is obvious crocodiles are certainly there in our rivers. Villagers should not risk their lives by swimming or trying to cross the flooded rivers.” It seems like common sense – to not try to walk on water in crocodile infested rivers. Tempting fate certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Or those afraid of death.
The final round of crocodile management consultation meetings held in Cairns on Monday heard the Green rent-a-crowd of 20 hecklers and self- appointed crocodile experts howl down any sensible argument about removing dangerous reptiles from populated areas.
Local residents in favour of removing crocodiles were told by Katters Australia Party Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth the reptiles would be removed or as a last resort, culled along the coastline between Mossman and Mackay.
Tourist numbers had been impacted and visitors no longer felt safe visiting the Far North, he said.
The sensible element of older Cairns residents, one of them a fourth generation settler, backed their reduction in numbers and removal of all reptiles from Cairns waterways.
He said there were no crocodiles in most rivers and creeks or Cairns Inlet 50 years ago.
“Everywhere was safe to swim and my kids were always in a local creek swimming on weekends,” he said.
“Once we could put up to 100 skiers in the water, now we can’t go near the ocean.
“There are young people getting into trouble because they have nothing to do and nowhere to go yet once they were in the rivers and creeks burning up energy.
“Even the life savers fear for their lives if they go into the water at beaches.
“Now I fear for my 17 grandchildren if they go anywhere near water and we cannot swim in the Mulgrave River or Lake Placid anymore.”
Another resident warned how kayaks paddled by kids along the Mulgrave River resembled a crocodile to large males and there were incidents where crocs had menaced kayaks and canoes.
“They have lost their fear of man and something has to be done,” he said.
Self-proclaimed crocodile expert Greg Watson said people should be trained to keep away from water and savage crocs should be left alone in Cairns waterways.
Resident David White said lots of people came to the area to see crocs in the wild and there was a large tourist industry depending on it.
“The population is recovering from almost extinction, but I don’t want to see anyone hurt so we have to handle this logically and with science.
“There were two surveys where 75 per cent of people were against culling. We have to do more about controlling people in crocodile habitats.”
Mr Knuth assured the meeting there were no plans to remove or cull crocodiles from the Daintree River.
KAP candidate for Cook, Gordon Rasmussen said any safari hunting plans for indigenous communities would be in controlled areas north of Laura.
“We do not want crocodiles in Mossman, Port Douglas or Mareeba rivers and creeks and they must be removed, and I am sure we can find a consensus between those here opposed to and in favour of the legislation,” Mr Rasmussen said.
It appeared the Greens mob were showing more interest in attacking Bob Katter than engaging in any sensible solution with meeting chairman Cairns Councillor Brett Olds and speaker Shane Knuth.
Performing for the ABC, Win TV, Channel 7 and other reporters, an agitated deckhand from the Daintree engaged Mr Katter with an ‘in-your-face’ screaming effort but the seasoned politician of 50 years didn’t take the bait.
Mr Katter walked away, further enraging the agitated deckie, Damian Duffi, by telling him he was “bored” with his illogical tirade.
The motley collection of about 20 vocal Greens, according to one supporter of the KAP plan, were mustered in a call on Facebook that morning, to “get as many as we can to the Katter crocodile meeting.”
“If this is the best they can do then we know we have the support of the majority of locals, not transient visitors from interstate,” Mr Katter said.
“”The three other meetings we held had many more attend than this meeting, and those people were 100 per cent in favour of removing the crocodiles.”
“The bill will be presented sometime this month,” Mr Knuth said.