A Queensland community is mourning the death of a local legend - a massive 4.5-metre long crocodile who died after becoming entangled in rope, steel wire and crab pots.
“A sad day for the Dickson Inlet and Port Douglas habitats, our big dominant male Crocodile was found floating entangled on a mooring line,” The Port Douglas Yacht Club wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Images of the deceased croc showed several nets and rope twisted tightly around his body with clear lines where they had begun to cut into his thick scales.
“Upon securing him and bringing him ashore it became apparent to us that he was in fact caught up in not one, but two crab pots and then entangled on the rope and steel wires of a mooring line,” the club continued.
“Tragic end to the big fella. He was approximately 4½ metres long and an old boy.”
The post drew hundreds of comments and shares from social media users.
“What a horrible way to die,” one person wrote.
‘No way for any animal to go’
The crocodile seemed to be a bit of a local celebrity with a few people commenting that they recognised him.
“Poor bugger, a couple of months ago, myself and my daughter watched him swim up the river past the boat ramp with a turtle flapping about in his mouth. Sad end to this big black croc!” one person wrote.
“I was actually pretty bummed when I found out! Seen this fella around a few times,” another person replied.
Even those who weren’t fans of the Aussie reptiles couldn’t help but feel sorry for the crocodile.
“I’m not a fan of crocs but this is no way for any animal to go,” one person wrote.
A few people called for more to be done in the area to help wildlife.
“I cannot stand these stupid crab pots. I see way too much marine life caught up in these death traps, we need to be looking after our wildlife instead of destroying it,” one person insisted.
While debate raged in the comments about the need for culling in the area and the dangers of crocs in swimming areas, the majority of posters agreed the death was not a fair way for an iconic Australian animal to go.
“This is horrific,” one user wrote.
“How awful... and people still think their nets are more important... Poor thing didn’t deserve an ending like this,” another person commented.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.