DANGER? Could a crocodile be lurking around the Gympie region?
DANGER? Could a crocodile be lurking around the Gympie region? Contributed

DES search Mary River after two Gympie croc sightings

CROCWATCH has revealed government wildlife officers will assess the Mary River at Gympie in the wake of the latest two reported crocodile sightings in February.

The Department of Environment and Science updated the status of the two sightings, made on February 15 and February 20 respectively, after kayaker Geoffrey Bell spotted what he thought was a crocodile lurking behind him on a paddle near the Gympie Weir.

READ MORE: Gympie Kayaker says Mary River crocodile followed him

Investigators taking Gympie crocodile sighting seriously

DANGER? Gympie avid crocodile spotter/hunter Geoffrey Bell.
DANGER? Gympie avid crocodile spotter/hunter Geoffrey Bell. Troy Jegers

The update comes after the Fraser Coast region had its first reported croc sighting for the year at Big Tuan Creek on Tuesday, and the Gympie region opened its 2019 account with a sighting at Snapper Creek in Tin Can Bay on January 5.

In CrocWatch's 2019 archives, all three sightings fell within Zone F, an "atypical habitat zone”, with the latest incident prompting "Departmental Wildlife Officers to conduct a site assessment when operationally convenient”.

A previous DES statement made to The Gympie Times clarified the "Zone F” definition.

"Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, the Mary River at Gympie is in Zone F (Atypical Habitat Zone). This means that any crocodile confirmed to be present, regardless of size or behaviour, is targeted for removal,” the statement read.

The statement confirmed two crocodiles were removed from the Mary River - in 2013 and 2014 - and any croc posing a threat to human safety would be targeted for removal.

"DES has investigated a number of reported sightings however investigations have not confirmed the presence of any further crocodiles in the Mary River. DES is unaware of any crocodile attacks that have occurred in the Mary River at Gympie,” it finished.

Mr Bell said he would never kayak in the Mary River again after what he saw in the water.

READ MORE: Every crocodile sighting reported in Gympie since 2010

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