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December 2, 2021

Calls for croc cull after two Qld attacks

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Crocodile in northern Queensland. Photo Christian Haugen flickr.com/photos/christianhaugen
Crocodile in northern Queensland. Photo Christian Haugen flickr.com/photos/christianhaugen

Crocodile culling in north Queensland is back in the spotlight after two attacks – one of them fatal – over the weekend.

Warren Hughes, 35, disappeared on Saturday after diving from his dinghy off Palmer Point, north of Innisfail, just hours before an 18-year-old was attacked in a nearby river.

Water police pulled Mr Hughes’ body from the waters south of Palmer Point around 8am on Monday.

Sergeant Doug Godden said the avid spearfisherman and underwater sportsman suffered injuries consistent with being mauled by a large crocodile.

The search was now on for a crocodile measuring more than four metres, Matt Brien from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said.

‘It’s an aggressive animal and so we’ll do what we need to do to remove it. We may capture it through conventional means, but lethal force is an option,’ Dr Brien said.

In a separate incident before dawn on Sunday, Lee de Paauw was mauled after acting on a dare to swim at night in the croc-infested Johnstone River.

But the 18-year-old, who is recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery on his arm, has said he doesn’t want the saltie who savaged him to suffer for it.

‘I don’t want that crocodile harmed. I want it to have a happy life,’ he told the Nine Network from his hospital bed.


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