Terrifying footage has captured a crocodile lurking off a dog beach in Queensland’s north following a spate of sightings across the state.
In the video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, the reptile can be seen floating close to the shore in Townsville.
“Two to three metre croc spotted down Pallarenda about 30 minutes ago,” Lee Darcy wrote online. It’s believed he had two dogs with him at the time.
‘It’s to be expected in Townsville’
Those on social media were left horrified.
“Wow, that’s crazy,” wrote one person. “Good we skipped the swim this morning,” another said.
“The dogs could have been croc bait,” someone else commented. “No doubt it was close by the way Dolly kept looking out into the ocean,” added another.
One person suggested that it “won’t be long before someone gets attacked”, while others said the sighting was “no surprise at all”.
“The gap between the island and the mainland is a highway for sharks and crocs,” one person wrote.
“There’s always one or two wandering around out there every year,” said another.
“[It’s] to be expected on any of Townsville’s beaches,” explained someone else.
Others urged locals to “just leave him be”.
“[It’s] just heading back home after breeding season,” one user said.
‘Keep pets on leads in Croc Country’
Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Thursday that it had received a report of a large crocodile in waters off Pallarenda and was investigating.
“Townsville is known as ‘Croc Country’ and people are responsible for their own safety in Croc Country,” it said in a statement. “People are advised to always keep their pets on a lead near waterways in Croc Country.”
The sighting comes a month after a man was mauled by a crocodile while standing on a boat ramp about 60 kilometres south of Cooktown in Far North Queensland. The 37-year-old fought for his life and managed to escape the reptile’s jaws but his dog wasn’t so lucky and was killed in the attack.
In January – in an “extremely unusual” sighting – a potential croc was spotted off North Stradbroke Island, about 600 kilometres away from the start of croc country.
But expert David White, the owner of Solar Whisper Wildlife Tours in the Daintree, says it’s likely we’ll continue to see more and more crocodiles making their way south.
“There are historical records of them being in the Logan River in Brisbane,” he told Yahoo News Australia. “It’s just that they haven't been seen there for quite a long time, 50 or 60 years, before they were hunted so heavily.
“Now that they’re protected, they’re slowly recovering and the world’s warming up so they’re just coming back to their normal habitat where they’d been living for millions of years."
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