Wildlife rangers are working to trap and relocate a large crocodile spotted nearby a popular recreational water sports spot.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service wildlife officers confirmed they had sighted the large crocodile in the Pink Lily area of the Fitzroy River, near Rockhampton, on Monday.
Rangers deployed a floating trap to capture the large crocodile around ten kilometres upstream from the barrage.
Senior wildlife officer Josh Morris said the floating trap was set on Tuesday, and wildlife officers were able to photograph the animal.
“It is a large animal, and it is a reminder that Rockhampton is croc country and there is a population of crocodiles in the Fitzroy River, above and below the barrage,” Mr Morris said.
“If this crocodile is removed from the wild, people still have to Be Crocwise as the Fitzroy River is typical habitat for crocodiles and they will continue to be present in the area.”
Mr Morris said there had been 32 crocodile sighting reports in the Rockhampton region in 2023, with fifteen crocodiles reported above the barrage.
“In response to crocodile sighting reports, wildlife officers conducted multiple, comprehensive spotlight surveys of the Fitzroy River above the barrage in April and May,” Mr Morris said.
“We surveyed 20 kilometres of the river during those surveys and confirmed the presence of a number of crocodiles, mostly less than 2 metres in size.
“During the last two surveys, we confirmed the presence of a crocodile greater than 2 metres in size.”
Mr Morris said because the crocodile was found in the Pink Lily area, which is used for recreational water sports and it is mapped as Zone C under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, the animal must be removed.
He warned water goers to still be cautious even if rangers are able to catch the massive semi aquatic reptile.
“In Zone C, any crocodiles confirmed to be present that are 2m or larger are targeted for removal from the wild,” Mr Morris said.
“Entering the water in croc country is a choice. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country.”
Mr Morris advised people to stay away from the Pink Lily area while the trap was deployed until it’s confirmed the crocodile has been captured.
“This will give us the best chance at capturing the crocodile, and it is an offence to interfere with a crocodile trap,” he said.
“If the animal is captured, it will be sent to a farm or zoo.
“People in the Rockhampton area are urged to report all crocodile sightings in a timely manner, and wildlife officers investigate every sighting report.”