A crocodile has been spotted in Ross River near Framara Park in Kelso. Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science investigated the sighting. Picture: Alix Sweeney
A crocodile has been spotted in Ross River near Framara Park in Kelso. Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science investigated the sighting. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Close call as croc lunges at fisho

CONCERNS have been raised after footage showing a crocodile lunge at a fisherman was captured on the banks of the Ross River.

The video which was shared to YouTube last week was captured at Kelso and shows what is believed to be a freshwater crocodile lying still in the water before it lunges at the man unprovoked.

Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science investigated a crocodile sighting in that area after a member of the public reported a potential crocodile sighting at Framara Park.

A department spokeswoman said the sighting was reported on December 31, 2020 and no further action was taken following the investigation.

"On investigation it was determined to be a freshwater crocodile, common in this part of the river," they said.

The behaviour, which was captured on video, is unusual for freshwater crocodiles which are known to be less aggressive than their saltwater counterparts and are known to be as territorial.

Footage by a Townsville fisher and shared to YouTube shows the croc lunge toward him. PICTURE: Aaron Horton
Footage by a Townsville fisher and shared to YouTube shows the croc lunge toward him. PICTURE: Aaron Horton

Townsville fishing charter guide Eddie Riddle said there was "usually just one reason" a freshwater crocodile would behave like that.

"That is a territorial thing," he said.

"I suggest it possibly had a nest nearby.

"Normally even when you entice them, they scatter."

Mr Riddle said even though freshwater crocodiles posed little risk to the public, it was still important to take care around them.

"I would keep clear because they still have sharp teeth," he said.

"You don't poke a sleeping bear, do you."

A crocodile has been spotted in Ross River near Framara Park, Kelso. Picture: Alix Sweeney
A crocodile has been spotted in Ross River near Framara Park, Kelso. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Wildlife officers have investigated a second crocodile sighting in the river over recent weeks after a member of the public reported the animal using the Qwildlife app.

Data collected via the app shows 18 crocodile sightings have been recorded in the Townsville area in the past month, the second highest number in the state with only the Cassowary Coast recording more sightings.

Departmental officers collected the 30cm freshwater crocodile from the river near Kirwan and returned it to the wild after it was not deemed a problem crocodile.

The spokeswoman said the department investigated all reports of crocodile sightings and worked to manage responses in line with the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

"DES reminds the public they should not interact with crocodiles of any size," she said,

"Townsville is known Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to be crocwise when a sighting is being investigated."

Originally published as Close call as Croc lunges at fisho


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