Search back on for 3.8m Mary River croc after sightings

Rangers are back searching the Mary River for another crocodile following a number of reported sightins in the past 12 months.
Rangers are back searching the Mary River for another crocodile following a number of reported sightins in the past 12 months. Contributed

THE Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will once again take up its search for a large elusive crocodile reported in the Mary River.

EHP's Acting Wildlife Director Lindsay Delzoppo said it had been a year since a 3.8m crocodile was captured and removed from the river, on November 12, 2014.

With summer approaching, and crocodiles in general becoming more active, EHP wildlife officers will again be setting crocodile traps in an attempt capture the reported animal.

"There have been a number sightings reported in the Mary River since last November's capture, so it is likely there is at least one crocodile in the waterway," Mr Delzoppo said.

"EHP monitors and surveys the Mary River on an ongoing basis but has not detected the animal."

Anyone spotting a crocodile in the Mary River is urged to report the sighting to the department on 1300 130 372, as soon as possible so it can be followed up by wildlife officers without delay.

"These reports help EHP wildlife officers build up a picture of where the crocodile might be spending its time and, importantly, if there is likely to be more than one crocodile in the river at the moment," he said.

"Once caught, the crocodile would be offered to a registered crocodile farm or zoo."

Mr Delzoppo said that for crocodile management purposes, and as estuarine crocodiles prefer warmer waters, the Boyne River near Gladstone is commonly considered as the southern boundary of the crocodile's "normal" range.

However if food, habitat and temperatures conditions are suitable, crocodiles may venture further south.

"Any crocodile in the Mary River is considered to be outside the normal range for saltwater crocs and would be targeted for capture and removal."

Permanent crocodile warning signs have been erected in the Mary River at the Beaver Rock, Granville, Lamington Bridge and Yengarie boat ramps.

"Even though the Mary River is not in generally considered as being 'Croc Country', members of the public should adopt 'Crocwise' behaviour as a result of crocodile sightings in the river."

Topics:  department of environment and heritage protection mary river crocodile

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