Tamara Sheward

TropicNow writer

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Giant croc suspected in death of Cairns spearfisherman


 

 

UPDATE: 22/03/2017

The crocodile responsible for the death of spearfisherman Warren Hughes has been killed.

The animal was located by wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection at the mouth of the Russell River last night.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said this morning that the crocodile was “humanely euthanised” at about 10pm.

Mr Miles said wildlife officers were confident the crocodile was the target animal due to its size and location.

“It is believed to be the same crocodile wildlife officers pursued in the area on Monday night, they located it but it submerged and stayed out of sight,” Mr Miles said.

 


EARLIER

 

An aggressive 4.5 metre crocodile is suspected to be behind the death of a Cairns spearfisherman whose body was found this morning.

Warren Hughes, 35, disappeared on Saturday while spearfishing in waters north of Innisfail.

His speargun – pierced with a fish – and empty dinghy were found floating at 6pm that night, triggering a search that concluded with the discovery of the body by the Rescue 510 helicopter just south of Palmer Point this morning at 8am.

Initial investigations suggest Mr Hughes may have been killed by the same crocodile which attacked a water police boat last night.

Far North Insp Rhys Newton told News Corp reporters that the aggressive crocodile – estimated to be 4.5m long – had attacked the 6.2m vessel, saying it had exhibited behaviour consistent with having killed recently or protecting a food source.

Police and wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will search for the crocodile tonight to destroy it.

In a separate incident on the weekend, an 18-year-old Innisfail man was mauled by a crocodile in the Johnston River after jumping into the notoriously croc-infested waters on a dare.

The man remains in hospital in Cairns and will undergo extensive surgery on his left arm.