A gigantic crocodile has been spotted in the Mary River at Grahams Creek just outside Maryborough.
The creature, estimated the be about 4.5 metres long, was spotted by senior wildlife officers after tip offs from the public.
“We get reports of crocodile sightings in the Mary River on a sporadic basis,” EHP Southern Wildlife Manager Sally Egan told Fairfax Media.
“We had enough reports to go out and do a land search and that’s when we spotted this one.”
Ms Egan said crocodile sightings in the Mary River were not uncommon but the presence of such a large animal was concerning.
“We have taken two (crocodiles) out in previous years but it is unusual and it’s not ideal,” she said.
“But it’s not all that surprising given the current history of the river.”
The 4.5 metre crocodile was spotted at the same time a smaller, 2.5 metre crocodile, and Ms Egan said wildlife officers will now go about capturing the animals and removing them from the area.
“Our focus will be on doing something about the animals and targeting them for removal,” she said.
“We don’t catch them unless they are a problem and it is of a size and in a location that is not ideal.”
Ms Egan said the larger animal was quite shy but people should still remain vigilant if they are undertaking recreational activities in and around the Mary River.
“It’s behaving like a well-behaved crocodile at the moment,” she said.
“We have been surveying for it for some time and it was only when we left the boat behind and went in on foot we could confirm it.
“It’s very shy, however, it is also very large, so at the time it decides its not shy anymore it could present a problem.”
With two large crocodiles roaming free in the Mary River, Ms Egan said the public should be extremely vigilant in the area.
“We are always encouraging people to not swim or let domestic pets swim there,” she said.
“When you are fishing or netting or putting a boat in the water stand back from the edge and try not to get in the water.
“Don’t approach the animal if you are lucky enough to see it and don’t leave food or fish scraps near boat ramps because you attract them in.
“Also make sure you keep your children safe.”
Wildlife officers have set up a number of traps in the river and Ms Egan urged people not to interfere with them.
Despite these two crocodile sightings Ms Egan said there was nothing to suggest there were mor crocodiles in the area or that crocodile activity was increasing.
“We don’t have any evidence that crocodiles are moving into the area or are likely to be there more often,” she said.
The Department of Environment and Heritage has advice on how to be safe around crocodiles in the wild on their website.
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