PAST CROCODILE: One of the crocodiles previously spotted and later captured in the Mary River.
PAST CROCODILE: One of the crocodiles previously spotted and later captured in the Mary River. Contributed

Crocs not going south, despite two spotted in Mary River

CROCODILES do not appear to be expanding into the southern parts of Queensland, despite the discovery of two crocodiles in the Mary River this month, experts claim.

"While two crocodiles have been removed from the Mary River in the past three years, their presence in the river is likely to be due to their individual behaviours rather than an expansion southwards of the species generally," a spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said.

"Estuarine crocodiles are highly mobile and are capable of travelling long distances, with some animals known to cover more than 40km in a single day.

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"Crocodiles that do not have a home range or territory commonly keep moving, sometimes more than 600km, in seeking to establish their own territory."

The spokeswoman could not put a figure on the cost of finding and relocating a crocodile, but said the wildlife officers were well equipped to capture both the 4.5m and 2.5m reptiles, adding that the elusive nature of the animals proved the biggest challenge.

"One of the difficulties in removing these crocodiles is that they appear to be actively avoiding boats and built-up areas," she said.

The spokeswoman warned people against interfering with traps, saying it was dangerous regardless of whether a crocodile was inside it or not.

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