Croc killed after attack on diver

A CROCODILE has been shot and killed after attacking a spear fisherman diving in waters in the Torres Strait.

The Department of Environment and Science received a report on Monday that a man had been attacked a day earlier while diving for fish off Nagir Island at the tip of the Cape York Peninsula.

The 3m crocodile lunged at him, lacerating his hands and arms as he fought it off.

The man was taken to Thursday Island Hospital before being flown to Cairns Hospital for surgery, where he remained in a stable condition yesterday.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the operation to find and kill the would-be man-eater began as soon as wildlife officers were notified of the attack.

She said the crocodile was found following a challenging operation including land and water-based patrols over two nights.

"DES wildlife officers, assisted by the Queensland Police Service, located the target animal near Nagir Island during a spotlight patrol on Monday night," Ms Enoch said.

"Difficult tides hampered efforts to approach the animal on the first night, but wildlife officers were able to remove the crocodile at around 10pm (Tuesday) night in a follow-up patrol using a smaller boat.

A crocodile feeds on a dead fish at Cardwell.
A crocodile feeds on a dead fish at Cardwell.

"This was a challenging operation and involved close co-operation between DES wildlife officers, Torres Shire Council and the Queensland Police Service, who provided invaluable support to achieve a swift outcome.

"I'd like to thank council and the police for their assistance in this operation."

Ms Enoch said wildlife officers responded quickly, despite the remote location, as they were already in the area providing crocodile management assistance to Torres Shire Council.

"Torres Shire Council holds a crocodile management authority, and wildlife officers have been working with council officers and Queensland Police to train them in contemporary crocodile management," she said.



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