A man has been charged after allegedly jumping into the water next to a four-metre crocodile and verbally abusing wildlife staff.
The bizarre incident unfolded as the caged animal was being removed from a waterway at Coconuts boat ramp in Innisfail in Far North Queensland.
The 32-year-old began arguing with Environment and Heritage Protection staff before allegedly jumping into the water at waist depth.
Police said the man then pushed the crocodile trap, causing the agitated reptile to thrust and strike the cage.
A man has been charged after allegedly jumping into the water next to a four-metre crocodile and verbally abusing wildlife staff
Wildlife officers told him to leave the water and stop interfering before he became verbally abusive, police allege.
EHP Senior Wildlife Officer Tony Frisby said wildlife officers perform an important and difficult job in locating and removing dangerous crocodiles from waterways.
‘Removing a large crocodile is tricky enough and we certainly don’t need intervention by members of the public,’ Mr Frisby said.
‘If someone obstructs our officers while we are working, not only is it an offence, it can make the situation dangerous for our staff, and for the person interfering.
‘We certainly don’t need intervention by members of the public,’ wildlife officer said after the incident
‘It may also cause the crocodile to thrash about and injure itself.
‘If you see our officers in the process of removing a crocodile, please stay well clear and abide by any instructions our officers may give.’
Detectives from the Innisfail Criminal Investigation Branch located the 32-year-old Coconuts man on Tuesday.
He has been charged with one count each of obstruction of conservation officers and interfering with crocodile traps and will appear at the Innisfail Magistrates Court on December 18.
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