Rangers patrolling after croc spotted off beach
RANGERS were to carry out a spotlight patrol last night after a crocodile was reported off the beach at Urangan.
The hunt was triggered after two young men spotted what they believed was a large crocodile - and threw a fishing sinker at it just to be sure.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection ramped up surveillance last night following the sighting, putting up signs for beachgoers.
The suspected croc was near an area of beach south-east of the Urangan Pier and towards Waterfront Restaurant, a popular walking and swimming spot.
One of the teens' parents contacted the Chronicle to share their story, saying the pair saw the reptile within throwing distance of the beach when fishing, so launched a sinker at it to check for signs of life.
"They reckon they saw a crocodile yesterday, and they would know," Peter Schuback said of the Sunday morning sighting.
"They come from (Rockhampton); they know what crocodiles look like.
"They threw a sinker at it and it sunk (below the water's surface)."
Mr Schuback said both young men, his son and his nephew, aged 18, saw the crocodile about 6am.
A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection representative confirmed a report of a potentially large crocodile swimming near Urangan beach.
A land-based spotlight survey of the area was due to be carried out on Monday night, which might be followed by a vessel survey on Tuesday.
"Recent crocodile sighting warning signs will be erected at the location," the representative said.
"Crocodiles swim in the ocean as they move from one creek system to another and it is important people exercise croc wise behaviour if they believe a crocodile is in their vicinity."
The sighting followed rangers capturing a 3.1m female in the Mary River last November.
Another of the reptiles is known to inhabit local waterways, according to the department's website.
While there have been no confirmed crocodiles in the region outside of the Mary River, a kayaker claimed to have seen one in January last year in Eli Creek, just 12km from the Urangan beach where Sunday's sighting took place.
Research shows crocodiles travel distances of up to 50km regularly.
Crocodile sightings can be reported to EHP on 1300 130 372. It investigates all crocodile reports.
Be croc wise
- Don't swim or let domestic pets swim in waters where crocs may live
- Be aware that crocodiles also swim in the ocean
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
- Never interfere with, or fish or boat, near crocodile traps