The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is seeking public information after a large estuarine crocodile had to be euthanised after being found with a metal arrow lodged in its back and other injuries to its head and neck.
DES wildlife officers captured and removed the 3.5m animal from the Johnstone River at Innisfail on 17 January, after a member of the public saw it swimming around moored vessels and reported it to DES.
Officers were able to safely remove some of the exposed part of the steel arrow, but the rest of its barbed shaft remained embedded against the animal’s spine.
An examination revealed external injuries to the crocodile’s neck and throat, indicating it had been stabbed multiple times with a sharp object.
The crocodile was found to be in very poor physical condition due to its injuries and there were large areas of dead tissue on its back, around where the weapon had penetrated its body.
The arrow is also likely to have caused extensive internal injuries and the animal appeared in great discomfort.
Unfortunately the decision had to be made to humanely euthanise the animal.
It is an offence under Section 88 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to deliberately harm or kill an estuarine crocodile, with a maximum penalty of $30,026.
Anyone with information about the attack on the crocodile is urged to contact DES on 1300 130 372.
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 section of the Johnstone River where the animal was reported is within Zone C (Targeted Management Zone). This means that any crocodile that is two metres or greater in length, or any crocodile displaying dangerous behaviour, is targeted for removal.
Innisfail is 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 water, camp site or boat ramp
- 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.