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  • Sam Davis

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    Terri Irwin attacks croc cull supporters

    Wife of the late Steve Irwin says a crocodile cull in Queensland would be 'inhumane'.  

    Australia Zoo’s Terri Irwin is urging Queensland MPs to rule out a crocodile cull, saying people must learn to co-exist with the apex predators in the wild.

    In May, tourist Cindy Waldron, 46, was killed by a crocodile at Thornton Beach in the Daintree Rainforest.

    Ms Waldron’s death sparked renewed calls for a cull from several politicians including Member for Kennedy Bob Katter.

    But Ms Irwin says crocodiles play a crucial role in our ecosystem.

    "My husband Steve always said we need to love crocodiles and appreciate them," Ms Irwin says.

    "It is much better to educate people about croc safety than destroy one of our tourism icons.

    "Crocodile culling is an incredibly inhumane practice, often leaving crocodiles with debilitating injuries.

    "I am involved in the most comprehensive research with saltwater crocodiles ever conducted.

    "Science does not support culling crocodiles and it would be a disaster for both human safety and crocodile ecology."

    Member for Barron River Craig Crawford says the state government has bolstered its $5.8 million crocodile management program and funded a multi-year population study.

    "So far this year, 46 crocs have been removed from the Cairns Regional Council area," Mr Crawford says.

    "We are also reviewing our public education messages and signage to see whether improvements could be made to the current CrocWise approach."

    Ms Irwin says a cull would cause significant damage to the environment.

    “Crocodiles are an apex predator and crucial to the ecosystem, keeping waterways and wetlands healthy. Crocodiles eradicate the weak, sick and injured wildlife, leaving only the healthy to prosper,” Mrs Irwin says.

    Dr Laurence Taplin, a key advisor to EHP on its Croc Monitoring Program, says decisions on crocodile management should be based on science.

    “There have been no systematic crocodile surveys conducted in Queensland for over a decade, so soundly-based facts about the status of our crocodile population are lacking,’’ Dr Taplin says.

    "The current debate echoes similar controversies in the late 1980s and the science we did back then showed clearly there was a great gulf between anecdotal claims of exploding crocodile populations around Queensland and the reality on the ground."