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Massive 3m crocodile spotted on popular tourist beach

A crocodile thought to be responsible for multiple attacks on local dogs has been spotted sunning itself near a popular beach in Cairns, prompting urgent calls for it to be captured and relocated.Veteran Cairns lifesaver Bob McPhail told the Cairns Post the massive 3m crocodile was sunning itself on the bank of a creek in…

A crocodile thought to be responsible for multiple attacks on local dogs has been spotted sunning itself near a popular beach in Cairns, prompting urgent calls for it to be captured and relocated.

Veteran Cairns lifesaver Bob McPhail told the Cairns Post the massive 3m crocodile was sunning itself on the bank of a creek in the South Palm Cove Estuary ecological park north of Cairns, where he saw children playing the week before and near the site where a local dog may have been taken by a crocodile last Wednesday morning.

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The crocodile is also believed to be the same one that attacked a local cafe owner’s dog back in April.

“This is a massive animal … It could grab a child any day of the week — and I’m talking about a 13 or 14-year old.

“We’re here to protect people in the ocean but no one is backing me up,” Mr McPhail told the Cairns Post.

He said he’d reported the crocodile to authorities but been told it was in its natural habitat and there was nothing that could be done.

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science disputed that version of the story, or at least “does not promote the view that nothing can be done about a crocodile at Palm Cove, due to it, ‘being in its natural habitat’”.

The state’s plan for crocodile management identifies the area as a Zone B habitat.

“This is an ‘Active Removal Zone’, which means that all crocodiles found are targeted for removal by Department of Environment and Science contractors, regardless of the size or behaviour of the animal,” a spokesperson said in an email to news.com.au.

A trap has reportedly sat in the river for months but the croc has apparently shown little interest in falling for it.

The Department of Environment and Science said the trap belongs to one of its crocodile removal contractors

Division 9 Cairns regional councillor Brett Olds said the government needs to choose between proactive management or closing down the beaches.

“We’re telling tourists to come here to Cairns and go for a swim in the beach,” he said.

“You can’t have a foot in both camps, that’s going to get someone killed at some stage,” he said, adding “it’s already got people’s dogs killed.”

The Department disputed that claim too.

“The person reporting the incident last Wednesday advised [the department] that the crocodile may have taken a dog they had been walking along the beach at the time, after the dog had run out of sight,” the spokesperson wrote (emphasis theirs).

“The person making the report did not see the crocodile take the dog,” they added.

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