John Wilson

Snapper gets up close with croc

JUST when you thought Maryborough's unfriendly visitor had taken off, new evidence sparks a warning to be careful on the Mary River.

>>See the full-size photos below

The rogue 3.5metre croc which has been avoiding ranger's attempts to capture it was this week sighted and snapped by freelance photographer John Wilson.

Mr Wilson spent two days trying to find the crocodile and couldn't believe his luck when he spotted it sunning on a muddy river bank among the mangroves.

Rangers set a trap for the mystery croc last week with a slab of pork which they changed to chicken and fish this week. So far the menu hasn't been to his liking.

They have now intensified their efforts and yesterday placed a second trap in the river baited with fish.

The second trap resembles a large stocking with a gate at one end.

An experienced fisherman who spotted the crocodile during the week estimated that it was closer to 4m in length, and questioned if it would be able to fit inside the first trap dropped into the river.

The crocodile was first spotted in the river near Beaver Rock about halfway between Maryborough and River Heads more than a week ago.

Photographer Mr Wilson describes this week's successful croc hunting mission.

"After several exhaustive days searching I was rewarded with a rare glimpse of a huge saltwater crocodile in the Mary River," he said.

"My boat driver and I couldn't believe our luck when we quietly floated past the huge animal sunning itself atop the muddy river bank.

"With my heartbeat racing I quickly aimed my video camera to capture the first video footage of a saltwater crocodile in the Mary River.

"It was the most incredible experience to float by the beast totally oblivious to our presence.

"I managed a number of passes and on the final pass the crocodile decided to take cover in the silty waters just ahead of our boat, but stayed on the surface which enabled me to make some great footage and photos of it in the water environment."

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