Expat shocked by scary sign as she realises why Aussie running track is so quiet

People in Australia are warned to remain vigilant when visiting areas where crocodiles are known to roam.

Left: Running track with grass in Mackay, Queensland. Right: Irish woman looking scared after seeing crocodile sign.
The Irish woman was running on a track in Mackay, Queensland when she spotted the sign, warning people of crocodiles in the area. Source: TikTok

An Irish woman living in Australia has detailed the terrifying moment she learned why her usual running track was extremely quiet, after noticing a warning sign attached to a tree while out for her morning exercise.

The government-issued sign, visible from the track in Mackay, Queensland, warns visitors to be vigilant and to avoid the nearby water as a crocodile has been spotted in the area recently — and the realisation left the expat a little shocked.

"Oh my god. I'm just out for a run, I'm on this lovely track, perfect for running in the morning. I was wondering why there was nobody around," the woman named Tanya said in a video she posted online in the moment.

"Warning, crocodile reported in this area in the last seven days," she continued, reading the message on the sign. And while panning to show her surroundings, she added: "That's all like marshland" — indicating where the predator could be residing.

The video was filmed in April with Queensland's Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) unable to confirm with Yahoo News the exact location, or circumstances around the specific croc sighting.

However, DESI warns locals and travellers to "expect crocodiles in all northern and far northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign". This includes Mackay where in January a large crocodile reportedly leapt from the water and into a tinnie while a person was fishing at Jane Creek near St Helen’s Beach, north of Mackay.

Left: Crocodile warning sign on tree in Mackay, Queensland. Right: Map of Australia indication Queensland's crocodile habitat.
The sign (left) warned visitors of a recent croc sighting which is common in Queensland's croc country (pictured right). Source: TikTok/DESI

Aussies are continuously warned to remain "extremely vigilant" because "the Mackay region is Croc Country, and people should avoid complacency around waterways".

"Crocodiles are highly mobile and can be found in any river, creek or ocean beach in Croc Country," Senior wildlife officer Jane Burn from DESI warned at the time.

Queensland's croc habitat begins at the Boyne River south of Gladstone, and extends northward, up the east coast and across far north and northwest Queensland to the Northern Territory border, with popular places including Cairns, Mackay and Townsville known to have a large croc population.

People visiting Down Under are often vocal about Australia's unique, and often deadly, flora and fauna, so Tanya's reaction comes as no surprise. But in true Aussie fashion, people responded to her video with humour and wit, with very few Aussies expressing concern.

"Just run faster," one joked. "You'll be right, just keep moving," said another. "Just run in zig zag," a third teased.

Some, however, who appeared to be foreigners, agreed the sign would terrify them too. "I'd actually need to sh*t myself in fear," admitted one.

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