1m crocodile pulled from central Queensland family’s chicken coop

A Central Queensland family thinking they had a goanna snooping in their chicken coop got a massive shock after discovering the scaly lizard was actually a 1m croc looking for a snack.

Wildlife officers from Queensland’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) were called to the Cape Hillsborough home, north of Mackay, about 9am on Monday after the residents found the small estuarine crocodile in their yard.

“The residents had initially thought the reptile was a goanna, but upon closer inspection realised it was a small crocodile,” DESI said in a statement.

Luckily, the family’s pets and chickens escaped harm and have all been accounted for.

DESI staff placed the croc in a large PVC tube for transport to Mackay, where it will remain in a department centre until wildlife officers can secure a new home for the animal at a licensed farm or zoo.

Senior wildlife officer Jane Burns said crocodiles can be highly mobile, especially during summer and following wet weather.

“While it isn’t unusual to see crocodiles around Mackay, it is unusual to find one in someone’s backyard,” she said.

“This is a good reminder to everyone in croc country that crocodiles can turn up in unexpected places.”

The shock discovery comes days after wildlife officers began investigations into reports of a large crocodile leaping from the water into a fisherman’s tinnie at Jane Creek near St Helen’s Beach, north of Mackay.

A member of the public reported the incident at 10am on New Year’s Eve.

Ms Burns said wildlife officers made contact with the man the following day, where the man reported the crocodile swam under the boat, then turned and launched itself up and into the vessel with its jaws wide open.

“The man then jumped the crocodile to get to the bow of the tinnie and retrieve the anchor, and the crocodile pivoted, over-balanced and fell into the water, bending the rails of the tinnie,” she said.

“The fisherman went to the boat ramp at Black Rock Creek.

“He told us he had never seen such a large crocodile behaving that way in the region before.”

The fisherman reported the animal was not in the boat for long.

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