Man fined for reckless behaviour in croc trap
A MAN who was described as 'stupid and reckless' has been fined $1800 after he was busted tampering with a crocodile trap in Port Douglas.
In October last year the man was photographed climbing in and around a trap that had been set in the Dicksons Inlet area just days after Anne Cameron, 79, was taken by a 4.3m saltwater crocodile at Craiglie Creek, a short distance away.
That crocodile was euthanased by rangers, however they could not rule out other large crocs being in the area.
Following an extensive investigation by police and wildlife officers, he was charged with four offences, including interfering with or damaging a crocodile trap.
He pleaded guilty in the Caboolture Magistrates Court and a conviction was recorded.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch labelled the man's behaviour as dangerous.
"It is not an exaggeration to say that interfering with crocodile traps is potentially life threatening," Ms Enoch said.
"It also places the general public at risk if the trap is tampered with in such a way that the trap no longer works, which hampers the ability of the Department of Environment and Science to deliver its important public safety role."
"These traps are specifically designed to attract crocodiles and they are deployed in places where a problem crocodile is known to be present."
Ms Enoch thanked police and wildlife officers for their efforts on the investigation.
"The outcome of this investigation is a reminder to everyone that tampering with croc traps is not only dangerous but illegal," she said.
"It should go without saying that if a crocodile trap has been deployed it is because there is a crocodile in the vicinity that needs to be removed, so the best advice would be to leave the trap alone and exercise Crocwise behaviour."
BE CROCWISE IN CROC COUNTRY
■ Expect crocodiles in all Far North 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
■ 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
Anyone who sees a crocodile should report the sighting to the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.