Fears after croc eats dog beside popular beach

A LARGE crocodile has been left to relax as children splash in nearby water just days after it ate a dog whole at one of the city's most popular beaches.

Veteran lifesaver Bob McPhail has called urgent attention to a two to three-metre crocodile sunning itself on the bank of a creek directly next to the Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel at Palm Cove.

The reptile is the same animal that ate a local doctor's Staffordshire bull terrier about 5.45am on Wednesday last week.

It is probably the same crocodile that attacked Chill Cafe owner Tony Moore's seven-year-old kelpie Frankie in April, leaving it with deep but nonlethal lacerations.

A crocodile of 2.5-3m in length suns itself on a creek bank beside the most popular tourist beach in Cairns just days after eating a local resident's pet dog. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
A crocodile of 2.5-3m in length suns itself on a creek bank beside the most popular tourist beach in Cairns just days after eating a local resident's pet dog. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

A crocodile trap has sat in the waterway for months with no effect, and Mr McPhail has demanded immediate action.

"It's just in front of the church at Alamanda, it sat there yesterday afternoon for about three hours," he said.

"This is a massive animal.

"It could grab a child any day of the week - and I'm talking about a 13 or 14-year old.

"We're here to protect people in the ocean but no one is backing me up."

Mr McPhail said children were in the area on Thursday afternoon with their feet in the water.

They pulled in two mangrove jacks but were lucky not to become prey themselves.

A crocodile trap has sat for months where a 2.5-3m crocodile ate a dog and has been spotted sunning itself on a bank at Palm Cove. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
A crocodile trap has sat for months where a 2.5-3m crocodile ate a dog and has been spotted sunning itself on a bank at Palm Cove. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

It was only a day after the most recent dog killing.

"The dog was only 30m away (from its owner), walking on the water's edge," Mr McPhail said.

"Then the dog went over the hill and there was a screeching, a barking, and then gone.

"There was just a big swell of water.

"The croc is as fat as a pig - it's got a full belly which is obviously the dog."

Mr McPhail said the crocodile had been reported - especially important considering the Ironman triathlon's swim leg was held there over the weekend - but authorities said it was in its natural habitat.

Chill Cafe owner Tony Moore was walking his two dogs, Kelpie cross Cattle Dog Frankie and Rhodesian ridgeback Duke (pictured) along Deep Creek at Palm Cove when Frankie entered the water and was attacked by a crocodile. Despite injuries to her rear legs, Frankie survived. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.
Chill Cafe owner Tony Moore was walking his two dogs, Kelpie cross Cattle Dog Frankie and Rhodesian ridgeback Duke (pictured) along Deep Creek at Palm Cove when Frankie entered the water and was attacked by a crocodile. Despite injuries to her rear legs, Frankie survived. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.

"It needs to be removed, it's just crazy," he said.

"Now I've got to risk someone's life getting taken.

"How do you think I will feel if a five-year-old gets taken this afternoon and I've done nothing?

"It needs to be taken away and straight away."

Division 9 Cairns regional councillor Brett Olds said the State Government needed to make a choice between proactive management or closing down the beaches.

"We're telling tourists to come here to Cairns and go for a swim in the beach," he said.

"You can't have a foot in both camps.

"That's going to get someone killed at some stage.

"It's already got people's dogs killed."

The Department of Environment and Science has been asked for comment.



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