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.