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Estuarine crocodile reported in East Kimberley waterways

Estuarine crocodile
Estuarine crocodile Tim Willing

Locals and visitors in the East Kimberley area are being reminded to be on alert following a number of unconfirmed sightings of estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles outside of their usual habitats.

Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) wildlife officer Mathew Byers said people should be vigilant near waterways following reports from members of the public of crocodiles in flood drains along Six Mile Walkway in Wyndham.

“Estuarine crocodiles are highly mobile animals and these sightings in the last week show they are not restricted to estuarine environments,” he said.

“Periods of warmer weather and seasonal rainfall provide the opportunity for crocodiles to move with ease into areas they do not regularly inhabit.”

Both Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra are in a crocodile control zone, where all reasonable efforts are made to remove saltwater crocodiles once they have been identified and located.

“We are asking people who believe they have seen a saltwater crocodile within a crocodile control zone to maintain a safe distance, take note of the animal’s location and immediately report it to the DPaW office in Kununurra on 9168 4200,” said Mr Byers.

“Where it is safe to do so, they should take a photo to assist us in confirming the identity of the animal.”

Crocodiles found outside of these areas may be removed if they exhibit threatening or aggressive behaviour towards people.

“People are also reminded not to swim, clean fish or dispose of other material at the water’s edge,” said Mr Byers. “Camps near waterways should be located a safe distance from the water’s edge and care is also needed when launching and retrieving boats.

“Active feeding of crocodiles is strongly discouraged as this could lead to them becoming inquisitive and acting aggressively towards people.”

Estuarine and freshwater crocodiles are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999