One of the Mary River crocodiles.
One of the Mary River crocodiles.

Investigators taking Gympie crocodile sighting seriously

A KAYAKER'S frightened claim of a crocodile lurking in the Mary River at Gympie is being investigated, DES has confirmed.

Geoffrey Bell, who claimed he briefly spotted the snout of a croc following his craft before it vanished under the muddy surface last Thursday afternoon, logged his report with the government's CrocWatch department.

VIDEO: Gympie Kayaker says Mary River crocodile followed him

 

One of the Mary River crocodiles spotted on the bank between Saltwater Creek and Beaver Rock. Photo Colin Brereton
One of the Mary River crocodiles spotted on the bank between Saltwater Creek and Beaver Rock. Photo Colin Brereton Colin Brereton

A Department of Environment and Science statement indicated Mr Bell's claim was being taken seriously.

"Wildlife officers ... are investigating a reported crocodile sighting on Friday 15 February in the Mary River at Gympie," the statement began.

"A member of the public reportedly saw what they believe was the nose of an animal near the Mary River Weir and reported it to DES.

"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."

 

Gympie avid croc spotter/hunter  Geoffrey Bell
Gympie avid croc spotter/hunter Geoffrey Bell Troy Jegers

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," the statement finished.

The most recent sighting reported in the Gympie region came at Snapper Creek in Tin Can Bay last month.

The last one to be sighted in the Mary River was reported to CrocWatch in December 2017, when Scott Barton and his stepson Harley Clarke claimed they saw a 2.5m croc swimming in the river about 100m upstream from the weir.

Two more came from Tin Can Bay last year with another at Inskip Point.

Gympie Times


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