Vigilante charged over croc stunt
A 'VIGILANTE' who interfered while conservation workers were removing a crocodile trap with a four-metre beast inside has been snapped up by authorities.
Police have charged a 32-year-old Coconuts man after he allegedly obstructed and verbally abused Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers while they were attempting to move a trap trailer in Innisfail last Tuesday.
It is alleged the man started arguing with the EHP officers about 12.30pm, before he got more aggressive by standing on the trailer and extending the winch.
While the officers were pulling the trap out of the water, it's understood the man got into the water at waist depth and pushed the trap.
He was told to stop interfering due to the danger of the situation.
Police say the man's behaviour caused the crocodile to become agitated and strike the side of the trap near where he was standing.
EHP Senior Wildlife Officer Tony Frisby said it was a difficult enough job removing dangerous crocodiles from waterways, and that the public should stay clear.
"Removing a large crocodile is tricky enough and we certainly don't need intervention by members of the public," Mr Frisby said.
"If someone obstructs our officers while we are working, not only is it an offence, it can make the situation dangerous for our staff, and for the person interfering.
"It may also cause the crocodile to thrash about and injure itself.
"If you see our officers in the process of removing a crocodile, please stay well clear and abide by any instructions our officers may give."
The man is scheduled to appear at the Innisfail Magistrates Court on December 18.