State wildlife officers visiting the Torres Strait to train local council workers in croc management put their classroom theories into practise after a spear fisher was attacked by a 3-metre crocodile on the weekend.
The man was spearfishing near Nagir Island off the tip of Cape York Peninsula on Sunday when the croc lunged at him, lacerating his hands and arms while he was fighting it off.
He was transported to Thursday Island Hospital before being flown to Cairns for surgery.
Wildlife officers who were in the region delivering training to Torres Strait Council officers were notified of the attack on Monday and immediately began searching for the animal.
Difficult tides hampered their efforts to approach the animal on their first attempts on Tuesday night, before they were finally able to remove and euthanise the croc last night.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch praised her departmental officers, but avoided any talk of a croc cull despite increasing concerns across the Tropical North about the increased number of croc sightings in ocean waters.
“This was a challenging operation and involved close cooperation between DES wildlife officers, Torres Shire Council and the Queensland Police Service, who provided invaluable support to achieve a swift outcome," Ms Enoch said. "I’d like to thank council and the police for their assistance in this operation.”
“Torres Shire Council holds a crocodile management authority, and wildlife officers have been working with council officers and Queensland Police to train them in contemporary crocodile management."
In a statement, the department reminded people to be mindful of crocodile habitat as "no waterway in croc country can ever be considered free of crocodiles" and said it investigates all crocodile reports it receives.
To report crocodile sightings, contact the department on 1300 130 372.