Do Not Feed Or Interact With Crocodiles

Wildlife officers have issued a serious warning to the public that feeding crocodiles puts lives at risk, after alarming social media videos surfaced in the Rockhampton region.

One of the videos showed a large crocodile eating a small, deceased shark, with comments on social media suggesting the animal is being fed.

Wildlife officer Alexander Peters said the social media videos were concerning, and wildlife officers fear the shark may have been deliberately placed in the water near the crocodile.

“The timing of the video appears to be suspicious, as the deceased shark is in the water near the riverbank at the same time the person is ready to film,” Mr Peters said.

“We’re investigating if this is a coincidence or not, and we would be extremely disappointed if people were deliberately feeding crocodiles to generate likes on social media.

“Anyone with information about these videos, or the deliberate feeding or interacting with crocodiles in the region is urged to contact the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

“Deliberately feeding of crocodiles is extremely foolish and dangerous behaviour, as it can lead to the animals learning to associate people with food.

“Previous incidents have shown when a crocodile has been fed, it starts to approach other people for food, or it will hang around an area where they have previously been fed waiting for an easy meal.

“This can put unsuspecting people at risk and leave the animal vulnerable to being removed from the wild.”

Mr Peters said in February 2020, a 3.7m crocodile was removed from the Fitzroy River after multiple reports that fish frames had been deliberately left at the boat ramp providing a food source for the crocodile.

“Officers identified the available food source, and our observations indicated that its behaviour had changed, therefore creating a safety risk which forced officers to remove the animal” he said.

“It is an offence under the Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation 2020 to feed a native animal in the wild if the animal is dangerous or venomous, or capable of injuring a person.

“The maximum penalty for deliberately feeding crocodiles is $6,192 and anyone with information about the deliberate feeding of crocodiles should report it by calling 1300 130 372.

“Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country, and Rockhampton is known Croc Country and people must be Crocwise while near the water.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report all crocodile sightings as soon as possible through the QWildlife app, via the DES website or by making a phone call.

Wildlife officers investigate every report we receive, and estuarine crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

Crocwise tips for people in the Rockhampton region:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL central, northern and far northern 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, camp sites or boat ramps
  • Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead

/Public Release. View in full here.