Beach sunbakers oblivious to lurking croc threat

 

A PAIR of sunbakers had no idea they were lying metres from where a dog-eating croc had been spotted the previous day.

The two to three-metre animal, seen sunning itself on the bank of a creek directly next to the Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel at Palm Cove, is known to have taken a Staffordshire bull terrier last week and thought to be responsible for a second dog attack in April.

 

A sign at the southern end of Palm Cove beach alerts visitors to a recent croc sighting in the area. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
A sign at the southern end of Palm Cove beach alerts visitors to a recent croc sighting in the area. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

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Annika Frew from Brinsmead was sunbaking metres from a temporary sign warning of a recent sighting and where the croc was spotted on Sunday.

"I didn't see the sign," she said.

"Obviously if it's causing harm it needs to be caught.

"It is scary but where else are they going to go?"

 

A croc trap has been set in the creek behind the Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel at Palm Cove. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
A croc trap has been set in the creek behind the Alamanda Great Barrier Reef Chapel at Palm Cove. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

Craig Harnett was on a family walk along the beach on Monday when he joined the chorus of voices calling for action to remove the animal.

"A friend of mine had their dog attacked. I think they should do whatever they have to, to get rid of it," he said.

"I am anti crocs in built up areas."

 

A crocodile of 2-3m in length suns itself on a creek bank beside the most popular tourist beach in Cairns just days after eating a local resident's pet dog. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
A crocodile of 2-3m in length suns itself on a creek bank beside the most popular tourist beach in Cairns just days after eating a local resident's pet dog. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

A trap had been set by the Department of Environment and Science in the small creek behind the chapel at the southern end of Palm Cove beach but the croc had evaded capture.

On Monday Veteran lifesaver Bob McPhail called for urgent action.

"This is a massive animal," he said.

"It could grab a child any day of the week - and I'm talking about a 13 or 14-year old."

Mr McPhail said children were in the area on Thursday afternoon with their feet in the water.

They pulled in two mangrove jacks but were lucky not to become prey themselves.

It was only a day after the most recent dog killing.

"The croc is as fat as a pig - it's got a full belly which is obviously the dog," he said.

 

Mount Sheridan residents Madi Thieme and Mitchell Cooper are concerned about a large saltwater croc frequenting an area at the southern end of Palm Cove. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Mount Sheridan residents Madi Thieme and Mitchell Cooper are concerned about a large saltwater croc frequenting an area at the southern end of Palm Cove. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

Division 9 Cairns regional councillor Brett Olds said the State Government needed to make a choice between proactive management or closing down the beaches.

"We're telling tourists to come here to Cairns and go for a swim at the beach," he said.

"You can't have a foot in both camps.

"That's going to get someone killed at some stage.

"It's already got people's dogs killed."

The Department of Environment and Science has been asked for comment.

 

Originally published as Beach sunbakers oblivious to lurking croc threat