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Australia Attacks on crocodiles spark concern for Queensland's reputation

21:55  15 april  2018
21:55  15 april  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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Crocodiles are a protected species in Queensland , but some people are worried that they are encroaching on urban areas. Now one tourism operator fears that attempts to kill them are harming the region' s reputation .

Crocodile attacks on humans are common in places where large crocodilians are native and human populations live. Only 6 of the 23 crocodilian species are considered dangerous to adult humans

A female crocodile in the Proserpine River where Fat Guts the crocodile lives.© Provided by ABC News A female crocodile in the Proserpine River where Fat Guts the crocodile lives.

Attempts to kill crocodiles in north Queensland are giving the region a bad reputation, according to a tourism operator in the region.

Steve Watson runs Whitsunday Crocodile Safaris on the Proserpine River and said there had been several attempts to kill a saltwater crocodile known as Fat Guts.

"The croc has probably been baited four times that we know of in the past 12 months," he said.

"It's pretty embarrassing when you're cruising along the river and you've got a croc with a rope hanging out of its mouth and we've got to explain what it's all about."

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This competition for resources between crocodiles and humans is of serious conservation concern . CrocBITE, the Worldwide Crocodilian Attack Database is an ongoing attempt to compile all reported attacks by any crocodilian species on a human, the purpose of which is to better understand risk

Attacks on crocodiles spark concern for Queensland ' s reputation Sat, 14 Apr 2018 17:50:00 GMT. Attempts to kill crocodiles in north Queensland are giving the region a bad reputation , according to a tourism operator in the region.

Crocodiles on the move

Crocodiles are a protected species in Queensland, but some people are worried more reptiles are encroaching on urban areas.

The Queensland leader of Katter's Australian Party (KAP), Rob Katter, said many swimming holes and rivers in the state's north were no longer safe because of crocodiles.

"The response we've had to give from Government to this point is we need to better educate people to swim with crocodiles. That's nonsense trying to say that to people in the first place," he said.

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Attacks on crocodiles spark concern for Queensland ' s reputation . Crocodiles are a protected species in Queensland , but some people are worried that they are encroaching on urban areas. Now one

Killing of the 5.2-metre male reptile, one of the biggest ever seen in the state, could spark a dangerous battle for dominance between remaining crocodiles .

"There's no question the population has exploded in recent times the number of crocs being seen, there's been 30 per cent increase in sightings alone."

Debate about managing crocs

The KAP has reintroduced proposed legislation in the Queensland Parliament to manage the state's crocodile population, that would allow crocodile safaris and other management options.

But Mr Watson said it would not work.

"Taking away the larger controlling animals is actually going create havoc, because you've got all the guys waiting in the line to over his job, it'll go crazy with the crocs trying to compete to be the top dog."

"We nearly annihilated them, took them out completely, they've been protected in Queensland for over 40 years now, they're slowly recovering to normal numbers, not forgetting their numbers don't just keep increasing non-stop as all the politicians will tell you."

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According to CrocBITE , a database that keeps track of crocodilian attacks worldwide, the Nile crocodile is the one humans should be the most afraid of. Not sure what metric you are using for comparison but as far as pure strength is concerned , Crocs have a stronger bite than gators--as long

Shooting safaris should be allowed to control the reptiles’ numbers, which had ‘exploded’, says MP Bob Katter, criticising rival Warren Entsch for saying ‘You can’t legislate against human stupidity’.

Mr Watson said he would like to see greater action taken against people trying to injure or kill crocodiles.

"You just hear it so much nowadays, a protected species means nothing, people can do what they like and the penalties are a very very minimal, slap on the risk for things like that," he said.

International tourist Ruby Spinner said she believed crocodiles should be left alone.

"I don't they think they should be killed unless its a good reason and hunting isn't a good enough reason," she said.

The State Government said the culling of problem crocodiles was not a solution and would give the public a false sense of safety.

It is conducting a three year survey of crocodile numbers in north Queensland.

So far, more than 1,200 kilometres of waterways have been surveyed since the project began in 2017.

The Government said data from surveys would be released when the monitoring program had been completed and results properly analysed.

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