View Comments
Fatso s farewell sparks inquiry
Fatso's removal begins. Picture: High Brown

The Department of Environment and Conservation is investigating after a giant crocodile was driven from Broome's Crocodile Park down the town's main street to his new home at a nearby wilderness park.

To the delight of most tourists and locals, "Fatso" was driven into town on a truck for a photo in front of Sun Pictures after being hauled out of his pond about 6am.

Broome DEC spokesman Alan Byrne said it had a public complaint and so was investigating whether the crocodile was transported appropriately.

Crocodile Park general manager Mark Jones said Fatso was the park's most famous crocodile so staff wanted to give him a celebratory send-off.

"We just wanted to give Fatso and the community one last look at each other before he headed out to his more secluded and lavish pond," he said.

Mr Jones and Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park manager Marshall Black, both experienced crocodile handlers, led the operation to move the 4.7m beast in cool conditions to avoid stressing the animal.

Believed to be about 50 years old, the 500kg saltwater crocodile made international headlines in July 2010 after mauling the leg of a drunken man who climbed over a fence to pat him.

In captivity, Fatso sulked for more than a year after being trapped at Timber Creek in the Northern Territory's Victoria River. He refused to eat anything or emerge from the water for at least 14 months.

After that, he recovered to become one of the park's most popular residents.

Since the park closed in January, staff have been busy moving 80 crocodiles to the wilderness park 16km from Broome.

Mr Jones declined to comment on the investigation. <div class="endnote">

</div>