Airlie Beach Queensland: Urgent warning for tourists and holidaymakers as VERY large croc is spotted near busy tourist area
Tourists have been given an urgent warning after a large crocodile was spotted near a popular beach.
The crocodile was spotted near Shute Harbour, around 12km east of popular tourist hotspot Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday region of north Queensland.
Four crocodile sightings were reported to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science [DES] on Monday.
Authorities were alerted to a large crocodile (pictured) which was spotted in the waters at Shute Harbour in the Whitsunday Region of north Queensland on Friday
The reptiles were reportedly spotted in several areas close to Airlie Beach.
Wildlife officers from the DES have been conducting a search for the animal and have put up crocodile warning signs.
Photos show the reptile appearing briefly on the surface of the water on the beach.
DES authorities have warned that Airlie Beach is classified as a ‘Zone E’, which means crocodiles that appear to show dangerous behaviours will be removed.
DES Senior Wildlife Officer officer Jane Burns said she and her team are yet to determine if the animal needs to be taken out of the water.
‘Crocodiles often use the ocean to travel and our hope is that this one continues to move on to a more secluded area,’ Ms Burns said.
‘However, based on images provided to us, this crocodile appears to be in poor condition and may be injured or unwell which could change its behaviour and movements.
‘It is really important for anyone who sees a crocodile in the area to report it to us quickly, so we can respond as fast as possible.’
Several crocodiles were spotted at various areas around Airlie Beach (pictured) this week which were reported to the DES
Tourists and locals have been advised to report any sightings of crocodiles to the DES by using the QWildlife app or by contacting the department over the phone on 1300 130 372
Wildlife officers have also been providing ‘Croc Wise’ education services to people in the area, as part of safety programs to ensure people are aware of what to do if they spot the animal.
Some of the tips to minimise harm includes staying at least five metres away from the water’s edge, disposing of all food and fish scraps in a bin, and to avoid travelling on the water on kayaks or paddleboards.
Tourists who were on a river cruise in the Northern Territory recently were given a scare after watching a six-metre crocodile eat a smaller croc just metres away from their boat.
Tourists who were on a river cruise in the Northern Territory were given a scare after they watched a six metre crocodile eat a smaller croc metres away from their boat.
Crocodiles can grow to very large sizes and are highly dangerous to humans.
Saltwater crocodiles, the largest living reptile species on earth, can grow up to a massive six metres in length.
They are often found in freshwater and saltwater along oceans, rivers and creeks.
While the reptiles are commonly seen in coastal areas along the east coast and far north coast of Queensland, tourists and locals are warned no waterways and inland areas are off limits for the reptiles.