Gympie croc 'news to us' says department as probe continues
THERE may be a crocodile in, near or visiting the inner Gympie stretch of the Mary River, but the state Department of Environment and Science says no-one has told them.
A spokesman said departmental wildlife officers conducted an assessment of a report in the Gympie Times last month and had attempted to clarify details with Gympie woman, Elenka Parkin, who said she had seen one near the Kidd Bridge.
And she is not the first.
Crocodile sightings have been reported from all along the Mary River, including up to Tiaro and Gundiah, but not usually further upstream.
But Scott Barton has seen one at Gympie and so has Chris de Vere, who says many residents knew of one at the old timber crossing, where the Normanby Bridge is now.
The spokesman said the department had not received any direct reports of the sighting reported in The Gympie Times on December 16.
"Prompt reports, as well as an opportunity to check details of the sighting with the person making the report, are of great assistance to wildlife officers in their crocodile management activities,” he said.
Members of the public are encouraged to report sightings to the DES on 1300 130 372.
"All sightings are taken seriously and investigated,” he said.
Elenka Parkin said she was accustomed to crocodiles after living in North Queensland for most of her life.
She says she moved to Gympie to get away from them and was shocked, not to say upset and frustrated, to see a 2.5m croc, which she said was of the more dangerous salt water variety, just downstream from the Kidd Bridge recently.
"Every since then, I have never let my kids swim in the river,” she said.
"If they do it's only in the shallow, clear part and nowhere near town.”