Rangers urged to leave Tiaro croc alone

CROCODILES are no big deal in the Mary River and should be respected, according to an apparently significant body of community opinion.

Faith de Vere and her son Chris yesterday joined a call to leave the crocodile in "its territory."

Crocodiles, a standard feature of many Central and North Queensland waterways, have not been reported anywhere near Gympie's part of the Mary River since the 1960s.

It was during that era that a young Chris de Vere saw one at Fisherman's Pocket.

And a large crocodile was shot near Tiaro about then and its skin is on display at the Bauple Museum.

"My father saw it being towed into Tiaro on a trailer at the back of a VW," river conservationist Steve Burgess told The Gympie Times.

"The river is its territory, why not leave it alone?" he said.

Mrs de Vere recalled one crocodile that was a regular feature of Gympie life, often seen sunning itself on a sandbank near where North Deep Creek flows into the Mary River at Monkland.

"It was where the old bridge used to be," she said yesterday.

Tiaro man Terry Vollmerhausen is similarly sanguine.

Having fished the Mary River for more than 50 years, he says he has spotted the reptiles "two or three times".

Signs have now been erected near Tiaro's Petrie Park boat ramp, a Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officer said on Wednesday.

The popular swimming spot is also a camping and RV area.

Department officers have urged the community to be alert.

The animal was reportedly targeted for removal after Tiaro Landcare reported the image of a croc on a camera set up to monitor white throated snapping turtles.

Tiaro Landcare's Marilyn Connell said the last confirmed saltwater croc sighting in the same area had occurred before the Mary River barrage was built downstream to prevent the tidal incursion of salt water into the upper reaches of the river.

Gympie Times


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