Crocodile sheltering in chook shed 'shocks' Aussie family

'Who knows what’s next? It’s North Queensland, we have something different every day.'

Australia’s extreme weather has forced wildlife into unusual places. In January rescuers reported an increase in snakes and frogs in toilets and swimming pools. Yesterday, a crocodile was discovered inside a chicken coop.

“Who knows what’s next? It’s North Queensland, we have something different every day,” wildlife rescuer Jane Burns said. Burns told Yahoo the animal had given the family living on the property north of Mackay “a bit of a shock” so she was called in to capture it.

Left - rescuers working to remove the crocodile from the chicken shed. Right - a close up of the crocodile inside a PVC pipe.
A crocodile was removed from a chicken coop north of Mackay. Source: DES

The chooks hadn’t been harmed but children were living nearby so the residents wanted the crocodile gone. “The crocodile was quite tired, he’d obviously had a big night,” Burns said.

“We are not 100 per cent sure where he’d originally come from, he could have been walking through vegetation for quite some time to get to this spot and was certainly a little bit buggered and stressed.”

How the crocodile was removed from the Queensland property

After dogs on the Cape Hillsborough property began barking late on Sunday night, the owners originally thought their shed had been invaded by a large goanna. When they discovered it was a crocodile, they called Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) where Burns is a licensed wildlife handler.

She was able to quickly secure the reptile in a length of PVC pipe and transport him to the DES facility in Mackay. While the animal is said to be showing signs of good health, he won’t be released into the wild and will instead be taken to a crocodile farm or zoo. It's not the first time displaced wildlife has been found inside a chook shed in recent months. In May, Yahoo reported on the discovery of a quoll finding refuge at a Melbourne property.

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Warning to stay clear of floodwaters

Just like humans, wildlife has also been shaken by storms and heatwaves across Queensland. Although crocodiles are frequently seen in Mackay, they aren’t commonly found in people’s yards.

During extreme weather events, DES advises people in the area to keep clear of floodwaters and report all sightings in populated areas.

“Crocodiles get pushed around in these heavy movements of water. They will try to find quieter bodies of water and go into areas that aren’t as fast-flowing, and that’s usually the places where water recedes quickly, and that’s why they turn up in unusual spots,” Burns said.

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