New menu put before elusive croc

EHP rangers swap pig meat for chicken in hopes that the elusive 3.5 crocodile will take the bait.
EHP rangers swap pig meat for chicken in hopes that the elusive 3.5 crocodile will take the bait. Contributed

A NEW menu is on offer for the Mary River's celebrity visitor, with rangers hoping a change of diet will lure the 3.5m crocodile into a trap.

Parts of a pig carcass were used to bait a floating trap set out last Wednesday, but so far there has not even been a nibble.

Rangers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) decided yesterday they should vary the croc's fare with a two-course meal.

"Chickens have now been set as bait in the trap, with a fish suspended at front of the trap as a starter," EHP manager of wildlife management operations Mike Devery said.

He said a change of menu might help trap the croc but trapping the animals was never a sure thing.

"Crocodiles are wary and mobile animals by nature and sometimes crocs we're trying to trap simply move to another location - and this can be some distance away," he said.

"Rangers check this trap each evening and morning and do frequent patrols of the section of the river where the crocodile was seen, but have had no sightings of the animal since Sunday."

The estuarine saltwater crocodile was spotted by commercial fisher Kevin Greenhalgh on Monday last week, becoming the region's first officially-sighted crocodile.

As it was observed south of Gladstone, the crocodile was automatically declared a "crocodile of concern" under the department's crocodile management policy.

Topics:  chickens crocodile department of environment and heritage protection mary river rangers

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