Cops find croc stowed away in truck
A BABY croc was the last thing police expected to find in Queensland's south west this week.
The 34cm salt water crocodile was found in a cardboard box behind the driver's seat of a truck at Mitchell on Monday about 10.40am.
Constable Matt Hawkins said it was one of the strangest things he had ever seen on the job.
"It was a real shock," Const Hawkins said.
"I was a little bit stumped for a minute.
"You don't come across jobs like this every day."
Const Hawkins said the 24-year-old male driver from the Northern Territory was transporting the crocodile to Maroochydore for a friend.
"He was carting the baby croc for his friend and the friend's intention was to have it as a pet for his children," Const Hawkins said.
Const Hawkins said the driver's previous drug history and the smell of cannabis prompted police to search the truck.
".2 grams of marijuana and a bong were also uncovered in the search," Const Hawkins said.
Const Hawkins said the reptile was very cold and appeared almost dead when first located, but sprung to life in the sun.
"I was able to pick him put but I kept my fingers away from his mouth," Const Hawkins said.
Const Hawkins said people needed to by mindful of transporting restricted animals and should think about where they could end up.
He said it was an offence under the Nature Conservation Act of 1992 to take a protected animal without a permit.
The driver was intercepted as part of a minor operation in conjunction with increased heavy traffic to Roma Saleyards and the opening of the Roma to Mitchell stretch of the Warrego Hwy to type two road trains between 36.5m and 44m long.
The animal was taken to Roma Police Station, before being picked up by employees from the Department of National Parks, who took it to a holding facility in Toowoomba.
The department said a call had been put out to find it a new home, either at a zoo or a crocodile farm.
The driver will appear in Mitchell Magistrates Court on August 25 on three charges, including taking a protected animal and drug and utensil possession.