Rangers trap crocodile after human head attack

WILDLIFE officers have captured a 2.5m crocodile believed to have bitten a swimmer on the head at Lake Placid last week.

The Department of Environment and Science confirmed the reptile had been caught in a trap set within the once popular swimming hole.

Mark Ridge, 56, has called for the animal to be shot after he was forced to price its jaws off his head about 12.45pm on Thursday.

Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney described the man's terrifying ordeal after he felt "this sudden impact clasp on the top of his head".

Mark Ridge has survived a crocodile attack by prising the reptile’s jaws off his head in far north Queensland. The 44-year-old man was swimming in waters near Lake Placid Road, in the Cairns suburb of Caravonica when he was attacked. Picture 7News
Mark Ridge has survived a crocodile attack by prising the reptile’s jaws off his head in far north Queensland. The 44-year-old man was swimming in waters near Lake Placid Road, in the Cairns suburb of Caravonica when he was attacked. Picture 7News


"He put his hands into the jaws to prise them off his head, and when he did so and let go, the jaw snapped shut onto his left forefinger, which wasn't broken or severed thankfully …" Mr Sweeney said.

"There was minimal blood loss, all his vital signs were good, he's a fit individual as I said, and he was very grateful that it was not as serious as it could have been.

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers are setting up a crocodile trap and monitoring Lake Placid, on the Barron River at Caravonica, after a man was bitten on the head by a crocodile while swimming in the lake on Thursday. Picture: Brendan Radke
Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers are setting up a crocodile trap and monitoring Lake Placid, on the Barron River at Caravonica, after a man was bitten on the head by a crocodile while swimming in the lake on Thursday. Picture: Brendan Radke

"He took what he described as a slow swim back to the bank where he was able to drag himself out of the water.

"He was obviously concerned, making that swim, that the animal would come up and attack him again but thankfully it didn't.

"He was able to get help."

The animal is likely to be taken to a crocodile farm to live out the rest of its days.

The Cairns Post conducted a poll with 780 people saying the croc should not be removed, compared to just 500 who believed it should.

Originally published as Rangers trap Cairns crocodile after human head attack


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