With many grey nomads starting to think about their treks up north, there has been another startling reminder of the risk that saltwater crocs can pose.
A dog has been ‘taken’ near a boat ramp close to Cooktown in far north Queensland. The incident happened at the village of Marton, north of Cooktown, about 150 metres from a boat ramp on the Endeavour River.
Witness Steven Nicolaou, who was fishing off the boat ramp at the time, told the ABC that the crocodile was between three and four metres long.
“I happened to notice a couple of dogs had come down early [and] were running up and down the beach … then they went away for a while,” Mr Nicolaou said. “Then a little bit later I just happened to look around and saw a little [crocodile] going across the stream … it sort of dived … about 30 or 40 metres before it got to the bank and … grabbed one of the dogs right next to a house that’s right at the end of the beach.”
Mr Nicolaou told the ABC it only took “10 to 15 seconds” before it was all over.
“It grabbed the dog by the hindquarters,” he said. “The dog was trying to bite back, it was squealing.”
A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) spokeswoman said officers had been notified of the attack.
“Wildlife officers will monitor future sighting reports for this location and a site assessment will take place,” she said. “People are advised to stay back from the riverbank and to avoid discarding fish and foods scraps in the water.”
Meanwhile, Queensland’s new Environment Minister Steven Miles said the state’s crocodile management plan was being reviewed, including the need for a comprehensive survey.
The Government’s management plan states if a crocodile poses an unacceptable risk it is dealt with as a ‘crocodile of concern’ and targeted for removal from the wild. Figures from the Department of Environment and Heritage Management show 111 crocodile have been removed from the wild since 2012.
Five were euthanased and the others relocated to crocodile farms or zoos.
There have been 22 reported crocodile attacks in Queensland since 1985, with seven of them fatal.