Locals slammed for 'entitled' response to crocodile warning

An expert said people need to take responsibility for their own safety and not 'blame' authorities.

A woman who desperately tried to warn dog walkers of the danger they were in after sighting a crocodile nearby was left "gobsmacked" by their response, with their mentality later branded "arrogant" and "entitled" by an expert.

On Saturday the woman caught sight of a "large croc" feeding on fish under the Barr Creek bridge near Cairns and began yelling warnings to a couple who stood at the water's edge with their dog. However, she claims they "ignored" her.

The couple stood at the water's edge with their dog while a passerby warned them to be careful, with their lack of regard branded an 'arrogant' response to the crocodile.
The walkers were slammed for their 'arrogant' response to the crocodile warning just outside Cairns over the weekend. Source: Facebook

The couple later approached the woman and questioned why she was yelling, and when told, they argued there was no warning signs in the area, to which the woman pointed to one "right in front of me" by the path the couple "walked down".

"I was gobsmacked. Please stay out of the water in this area. Doggies might need a run but remember they can turn quickly into croc feed, plus yourself," she said online. "Please read signs! Sigh!"

Crocodile expert warns against 'arrogant' blame shifting

A crocodile expert insisted on calling out "main character syndrome" after hearing of the incident, believing people have a "sense of entitlement" and push too much blame onto authorities rather than exercising common sense themselves.

"For some reason [in] Far North Queensland people just flat out ignore the warning signs and then cry poor me when something happens," Tommy Hayes told Yahoo News. "People can't just put the responsibility solely on national parks or crocodile management teams or local councils — it's Far North Queensland, it's crocodile habitat."

Crocodile expert Tommy Hayes wears a hat on a boat (left) and the crocodile warning signs close to where the woman was standing on Saturday is pictured.
Crocodile expert Tommy Hayes said people need to stop shifting the blame onto authorities when it comes to their own safety. Source: Instagram & Facebook

Hayes also said people are quick to assume it's tourists behaving this way in the area but he believes locals can be just as bad.

"You can't just blame shift... you get all the locals saying, 'It's the bloody tourists, it's the people just down south... but it's not, it's idiots like this who walk every day," he said.

People in croc country are 'responsible for their own safety'

Far North Queensland is croc country, meaning no body of water is considered crocodile-free, and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) says people are responsible for their own safety.

"Approaching or standing near crocodiles of any size is risky, foolish behaviour... people are responsible for their own safety in croc country," DES told Yahoo News previously.

How to practise 'crocwise' behaviour, according to DES

  • Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe

  • Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night

  • Stay well away from croc traps – that includes fishing and boating

  • The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks

  • Stand back from the water’s edge when fishing and don’t wade in to retrieve a lure

  • Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water

  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, campsite or boat ramp

  • Never provoke, harass, or feed crocs

  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead.

If people who live in Far North Queensland or the Northern Territory choose to ignore the warning signs then it's completely on them.Tommy Hayes, crocodile expert

Risk of crocodiles being 'killed' if interaction occurs

Not only do people risk their own safety by not being 'croc wise' but they also jeopardise the crocodile, with the wild animal often "killed" if an interaction occurs.

"Hopefully it's going to be crocodile habitat for another million years because it would be devastating to lose such an amazing species," Hayes said.

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