Cairns man calls for rogue croc to go after killing dog
A HEARTBROKEN Ben Woods is convinced the crocodile that took his family dog Angus should be culled.
Mr Woods was fishing with friends at Deep Creek near Kewarra Beach Resort on Thursday afternoon when two-year-old border collie cross Angus was snatched off the bank.
"It definitely has to be removed or killed, but preferably killed," Mr Woods said of the crocodile, which he believes is about 3.5m long. "It could have been one of us and we’re in shock, not just from losing the dog, but the croc was only a metre or two away from us."
Mr Woods visited the site of the attack yesterday afternoon to erect his own sign, bearing the words: "Warning: Dog eaten by crocodile here 20/09/12."
He said the "recent sighting" sign erected by rangers after the attack on Thursday afternoon was pointless and he believed permanent danger signs near crocodile habitats bred complacency.
"It wasn’t a sighting, it was an attack," he said.
"Those (permanent) signs are everywhere up here, so they don’t do anything. It’s going to take a person getting killed to change things." Rangers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection visited the creek twice yesterday, in the morning and at night, to carry out a survey.
They travelled up the mouth of Deep Creek in a small dinghy and spotted a crocodile of about 2.5m to 3m in length upstream, but it moved on quickly.
A spokesperson for DEHP said a decision about what further action should be taken would be made once all the information was assessed.
The Cairns Regional Council is working with State Environment Minister Andrew Powell to develop a crocodile management plan for the region, earmarked for completion by December this year.
Member for Barron River Michael Trout said Thursday’s attack was a wake up call.
"I want immediate removal of crocs from the northern beaches. I’m calling for the council to come on side for zero tolerance, irrespective of (crocodile) size," he said.
"I’m sick of signs. Signs means no action, I want action. We are a day off school holidays and there are a lot of people out there. Tourism will be dead the day after a child is taken."
The incident sparked a heated debate yesterday on cairns.com.au, with locals divided over how best to deal with the reptiles.
Many expressed similar concerns to Mr Woods and Mr Trout, however, a number of people offered opposing views, including a Port Douglas resident who said management needed to be measured.
"This topic always gets swamped by rednecks who want to shoot things, scaremongerers, people with vested interests and people that panic at the drop of a hat. Some control is warranted in some situations, but a blanket cull or relocation program smacks of dramatic over reaction," D. Vicary wrote.
Kewarra Beach woman Marg Hobson, who saw the Deep Creek crocodile two months ago, said relocation was necessary.
"I think leaving them may have been relevant 30 years ago when Kewarra Beach was a sleepy little beach, but in the last 10 years we have had an enormous area of new estates open up and it’s a family area, there are lots of young children here," she said.
"We’re tempting fate by leaving the crocodiles there."
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In shock: Ben Wood, whose dog Angus was taken by a croc, with his warning sign at the site. MIKE WATT
On patrol: Rangers were at Deep Creek yesterday where the dog was taken yesterday.