The saltwater croc speared with an arrow swimming in the Johnstone River has been moved. Picture: Mark Anderson
The saltwater croc speared with an arrow swimming in the Johnstone River has been moved. Picture: Mark Anderson

Speared Far North croc removed for treatment

A LARGE saltwater croc found swimming in a Far North river with what appeared to be an arrow lodged in its back will undergo treatment after being removed from the wild.

The 3.5m croc was last Monday spotted by a member of the public, who reported it after seeing it swimming between moored vessels.

A Department of Environment and Science spokeswoman said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers were able to safely remove a portion of a spear-fishing shaft lodged in the animal's back when they captured it on Friday.

"The crocodile is now being held at a secure DES facility," she said.

The 3.5m saltie was first spotted last Monday, and later Thursday before being captured Friday. Photo: Brenton Gangemi
The 3.5m saltie was first spotted last Monday, and later Thursday before being captured Friday. Photo: Brenton Gangemi

"A veterinary assessment will be conducted with the aim of removing the remainder of the spear.

"Further information regarding the placement of the animal will be determined following the assessment and any necessary treatment."

Innisfail fisher Mark Anderson snapped a photo of the croc in transit when the truck was filling up at a service station.

Mr Anderson said the croc was a bit distressed inside the cage, but looked strong.

"He's a pretty big croc, he's definitely a dominant one from our area," he said.

Mr Anderson said he recognised it as one that shared the banks with a couple of females along the Johnstone.

"The sad thing is they'll probably never release him back to the area. He never hurt anyone," he said.

"Having these apex predators is important for the balance of the local food chain.

"When you lose a croc, you affect the health of the area, plus it's also bad for the economy because of the draw they bring to local tourism."

Snapping Tours operator Brenton Gangemi said every loss of a croc was "a waste".

"It's starting to happen more and more in Innisfail, people taking shots at crocs," he said. "There's no point to it - you're not going to be able to go swimming; it's a mangrove creek and they don't attack boats."

DES is urging anyone with information about the crocodile shot with the spear to contact them on 1300 130 372.


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