What a croc. Hotline frustration leaves beast unreported

Residents north of Cairns are concerned about crocodiles at the beaches, after locals spotted a 3.5 metre croc swimming off McAllister Range beach. Maia Kjendle, Martin Kjendle and Elizabeth Fitzroy take a walk along McAllister Range beach, but weren't tempted to enter the water. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE
Residents north of Cairns are concerned about crocodiles at the beaches, after locals spotted a 3.5 metre croc swimming off McAllister Range beach. Maia Kjendle, Martin Kjendle and Elizabeth Fitzroy take a walk along McAllister Range beach, but weren't tempted to enter the water. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE

A LARGE crocodile spotted lurking while campers swam nearby north of Ellis Beach went unreported because of frustration with the automated CrocWatch hotline.

Clifton Beach man John Lewis was playing out a common morning ritual, taking his dog for a run on the beach off the Macalister Range when he spotted a 3.5-4m crocodile in the water.

"It was probably about 40m away initially with its head and tail out of the water, having a good look," he said.

"It spotted me and my dog on the beach, submerged, and then popped up in the second wave off the beach - probably about 20m away."

Mr Lewis notified campers, who had been swimming laps, along the beach about 30m from shore before calling CrocWatch on 1300 130 372 before hanging up after realising it was an automated line.

More on this at Cairns Post.

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