Crocodile found dead in Port Douglas believed to have drowned in ropes

A 4.5-metre crocodile found dead in Far North Queensland is believed to have drowned after becoming tangled in crab posts and boat mooring lines.

Graphic photos shared on the Port Douglas Yacht Club Facebook page show the reptile’s carcass being pulled from the water earlier this week, tangled in ropes and netting.

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“A sad day for the Dickson Inlet and Port Douglas habitats, our big dominant male Crocodile was found floating entangled on a mooring line,” the post reads.

“However, upon securing him and bringing him ashore it became apparent to us that he was in fact caught up in not one, but two crab pots and then entangled on the rope and steel wires of a mooring line.

“Tragic end to the big fella.”

The crocodile is described as being approximately 4.5 metres long and an “old boy”.

“No king of the inlet,” Windswell Kitesurfing and Standup Paddle Port Douglas commented.

Other Queenslanders said “poor bugger”, “what a horrible way to die” and “not a good way to go”.

The state’s Environment Department on Tuesday said it had removed the carcass of a 4.2-metre estuarine crocodile “that is believed to have drowned in Dickson Inlet in Port Douglas after becoming tangled in a crab pot and vessel mooring lines”.

The Department warned of the entanglement and drowning risks to crocodiles and other marine animals by crab pots left in the water.

“Please check crab pots regularly and remove them from the water after fishing so we can prevent incidents like this,” it said.

According to the Department, the average male estuarine crocodile may be three to four metres long and weigh 200-300kg.

They are expected to live for 50 years or more and are known to be found in Queensland between Gladstone and the Cape York Peninsula and throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“Although most commonly seen in tidal reaches of rivers, they also occur along beaches and offshore islands in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and in freshwater lagoons, rivers, and swamps up to hundreds of kilometres inland from the coast,” the Department states.

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