News

It’s not a crocodile, says reptile expert

A photo posted on Facebook by a member of the public.
A photo posted on Facebook by a member of the public.

WAS a crocodile photographed sunning itself at Elliott Heads beach?

Probably not, according to Snakes Downunder owner Ian Jenkins.

A photo posted to Bargara Facebookers on New Year's Day and shared around the region showed a long, brown object resting on the shore with the caption "crocodile spotted down at Elliot Heads?".

But the object in the photo isn't a croc, says Mr Jenkins.

"It's definitely not a crocodile," he said.

"It is too shiny - it's smooth and shiny and hasn't got that rough finish.

"That isn't really a crocodile."

A zoomed-in image of the object.
A zoomed-in image of the object.

Mr Jenkins said it had been quite some time since anyone had come forward with a genuine crocodile sighting in the region.

"There haven't been sightings recently," he said.

"I seem to remember 10 to 15 years ago there was one sighted at the mouth of the Burnett River."

But Mr Jenkins said while the photo didn't show a croc, the animals were a possibility in our region.

"They have removed two from the Mary River and there's possibly one or two more there," he said.

"There's always a chance because they've got to swim past the Elliott River to get there."

He said it was best to avoid murky waters when swimming and pointed out that the Mary River crocodiles had been "quite shy".

"They're certainly more active at nighttime, but they will feed at any time of the day," he said.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden, who patrols at Elliott Heads, also said crocs were a possibility, but a very minimal one.

"It's certainly a possibility but I'd have to say it'd be very doubtful," he said.

"As far as I know there's been no croc sightings for as long as I can remember.

"It's always a concern because they've been seen in the Mary River."

Mr Holden said beachgoers were far more likely to spot friendlier creatures such as turtles and dolphins around the region.

Mr Holden said Elliott Heads had been an extremely popular swimming choice recently.

"All our beaches have been extremely busy - it's one of the busiest periods we've seen in while," he said.

"The river area over the past six months has been the busiest ever.

"I think the river mouth is not as dangerous as it used to be, the mouth is a lot shallower than it used to be."

What do you think the object in the pic looks like?

This poll ended on 07 January 2016.

A log - 40%

Not sure - 10%

A croc - 50%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Most Facebookers were not fazed by the image, with many saying they thought the object was just a log.

The NewsMail attempted to contact the person who posted the original image but did not receive a reply.

In 2014, the NewsMail reported findings from a CQUniversity science student who believed crocodiles were living in Baffle Creek.

At the time, Leslie Lowe said crocs had started to adapt to cooler waters and he believed there were freshwater crocodiles in the Burnett River.

Topics:  craig holden crocodiles elliott heads snakes downunder



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