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Huge 3.8m crocodile caught after 'stalking' Queensland beachgoers

The crocodile approached swimmers and a surfer before a fisherman had to keep it away by throwing rocks.

A crocodile has been shot by Queensland rangers after it was reported stalking swimmers and a fisherman.

The 3.8-metre estuarine reptile was tracked by authorities after sightings around Mackay on February 9 and 14.

The first incident occurred at North Wall Beach when a surfer reported being followed to shore. “The man quickly warned other swimmers of the presence of the animal, and the crocodile then reportedly approached other swimmers, some of whom had to scramble up a rock wall to evade the animal,” wildlife officer Jane Burns said.

Left - a crocodile warning sign at a Mackay beach. Right - the dead crocodile
A crocodile was killed by Queensland rangers after it was reported stalking a fisherman. Source: DES

Five days later, a fisherman encountered a large crocodile in Reliance Creek which extends out of North Wall Beach. State authorities reported the man threw rocks at the creature to drive it away after it “aggressively stalked him”.

“Wildlife officers assessed the animal as posing an unacceptable danger to the community and made the decision to humanely euthanise the crocodile on the spot,” Ms Burns said.

23 reports of crocodiles in Queensland town

In 2023 there have been 23 reports of crocodiles in Mackay, and a further four in Rockhampton. This has led authorities to warn people visiting the region’s beaches to be vigilant in caring for their family and pets.

During their investigation, rangers identified two more crocodiles in the vicinity. One was believed to be 2.7 metres in length, while the other was described as a “smaller animal”. “Those animals were assessed as not posing a danger to the community, but people must understand that crocodiles are widely distributed throughout the Mackay region,” Ms Burns added.

Crocodiles assessed as posing a threat to humans are shot or sent to crocodile farms under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan. Crocodile attacks on humans in Australia do occur but are rare.

The department of environment (DES) said it investigates all reports of crocodiles which can be made on QWildlife App or on 1300 130 372.

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