Expert's warning as 3.5m surfing croc spotted at Yeppoon
A SALTWATER crocodile was seen "riding the waves" on Farnborough Beach early Tuesday morning to the shock of two Yeppoon horse riders.
In a post to social media, Kim Nycol and Natalie Boyle said they were hoping to enjoy a ride through the water near the Bangalee boat ramp when they spotted a crocodile.
"Needless to say we did not go for a swim," they wrote to Facebook.
The post has been shared hundreds of times around the social media community sparking panic in some locals.
The Department of Environment and Science (DES) confirmed they were notified a 3.5m crocodile had been spotted.
Although manager of Koorano Crodile Farm, John Lever, said the sighting was a common occurrence at this time of year as crocs were travelling to find mates.
Mr Lever said from the size and behaviour of the crocodile he presumed it was a male who had reached sexual maturity on the lookout for a potential female.
He said if the croc was from the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, it was likely he was seeking out the next source of fresh water, Coorya Bay.
"Sometimes crocs find themselves in the territory of a larger male that's going to kill them or it's travelling looking for a mate," he said.
"This is the first sighting of the year that I'm aware of but it is not unusual."
The DES has installed signs at the entrance to Bangalee Beach in the wake of the sighting.
A spokesperson fro the DES said this sighting was well within croc country and operators if the Rotary Camp ground and members of the public had been contacted.
Mr Lever said crocodiles depend on fresh deluges of rain to keep them motivated in mating season.
"If we get a lot of rain in the next few weeks they won't travel any more," he said.
Mr Lever said early rains in October and November helped stimulate the crocodiles in a great mating season.
Mr Lever urged people to keep their eyes open in croc territory and stay away from beaches after dark.
"This time of year is the most dangerous for people so everyone should be aware there are some in the area," he said.
As the crocodile did not display any aggressive behaviour a spokesperson from the DES said there would be no need for a targeted removal.
Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan Bangalee Beach is in Zone E (General Management Zone).
ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR CROCODILES IN THE REGION
- Expect crocodiles in ALL northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign;
- Obey all warning signs - they are there to keep you safe;
- Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night;
- Stay well away from croc traps - that includes fishing and boating;
- The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks;
- Stand back from the water's edge when fishing and don't wade in to retrieve a lure;
- Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water;
- Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp;
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs;
- Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead;
- Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country; and
- Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.