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Mystery surrounds discovery of skinned crocodile in the Murray River

Mystery surrounds the discovery of skinned crocodile in the Murray River – more than a THOUSAND kilometres outside the animal’s normal habitat

  • Body of a skinned freshwater crocodile was found with a hook inside its mouth
  • Brent Lodge found the six foot long carcass while he was collecting rubbish 
  • Footage shows Mr Lodge grabbing the freshwater’s tail from the Murray River

A body of a skinned freshwater crocodile with a hook inside its mouth has been found in the Murray River – more than a thousands kilometres away from his normal habitat. 

Brent Lodge found the six foot long carcass while he was collecting piles of floating rubbish on his boat in Barham on the south border of New South Wales on Sunday.

Footage shows Mr Lodge grabbing the crocodile’s tail, where part of its skin remained intact, before pulling the reptile onto the bank.

In the video, Mr Lodge explained how he wasn’t responsible for skinning the reptile

A man has discovered the body of a skinned Freshwater crocodile with a hook inside its mouth floating in the Murray River

A man has discovered the body of a skinned Freshwater crocodile with a hook inside its mouth floating in the Murray River

‘You wouldn’t believe what I’ve just found. I’ve just found a freshwater crocodile,’ Mr Lodge said in a video uploaded on his Instagram.

‘They don’t live in the Murray River as far as I know. I’ve never seen anything like it and it has a hook in its mouth.

‘It actually looks like it’s been skinned.’

Freshwater crocodiles live in wetlands, billabongs, creeks and rivers of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. 

Northern Territory crocodile expert Graham Webb told the ABC the Murray River’s water temperature was too cold for freshwaters. 

The preferred body temperature of crocodiles is around 30-33C, which is maintained through exposure to water, sun and shade. 

‘It just puzzles me completely, because the fact it’s got a hook in its mouth means the guy may have strung it up and take the skin off it – if he had a decent sized bait on it, freshies sometimes that and get  caught,’ Mr Webb said. 

‘It’s definitely been skinned by an amateur.’ 

Rebecca Surian, operations manager of the nearby Altina Wildlife Park, suspects the crocodile may have died in the river or may have been stolen.  

Mr Lodge, who currently lives in the Gold Coast, had come home to visit friends and family in Barham when he made the discovery. 

He had gone fishing with his dad on Saturday and noticed the water levels of the Murray River were higher than normal and had been infested with litter.

And it was as Mr Lodge cleaned up the river he stumbled upon the dead crocodile. 

Skinned Freshwater crocodile

Skinned Freshwater crocodile

Brent Lodge found the six foot long carcass while he was collecting piles of floating rubbish on his boat in Barham on the south border of New South Wales on Sunday

Footage shows Mr Lodge grabbing the crocodile's tail, where part of its skin remained intact, before using his strength to drag the reptile onto the bank

Footage shows Mr Lodge grabbing the crocodile’s tail, where part of its skin remained intact, before using his strength to drag the reptile onto the bank

In the video, Mr Lodge explained how he wasn’t responsible for skinning the reptile.

‘I did not skin the crocodile. I don’t even know how to fillet a fish,’ he said.

Brent Lodge (pictured) found the skinned Freshwater

Brent Lodge (pictured) found the skinned Freshwater

‘Why did I leave it [on the bank]? Not sure what you want me to do with a dead crocodile. It stunk.’

Mr Lodge reported the crocodile to Victoria Fisheries and NSW Fish by sharing photos and videos he had posted on social media.

Freshwater and salt water crocodiles are protected across Australia.

Those who unlawfully take a crocodile can incur a $28,000 fine in some states.

Killing or harming a crocodile can lead to a $225,000 fine in some states and up to two years in prison.  

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Victorian Fisheries Authority for comment.

Mr Lodge reported the crocodile to Victoria Fisheries and NSW Fish

Mr Lodge reported the crocodile to Victoria Fisheries and NSW Fish

Mr Lodge reported the crocodile to Victoria Fisheries and NSW Fish by sharing photos and videos he had posted on social media

 

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