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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    ‘Nome sweet home’ for Strand croc

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    ‘Nome sweet home’ for Strand croc

    The iconic 4.7-metre estuarine crocodile caught at The Strand, Townsville, will find a new home and role at the Billabong Sanctuary, at Nome, just south of Townsville

    Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the reptile's "very large" size made it an ‘icon crocodile’ under conservation laws, which brought into play special requirements about placing and keeping the animal.

    “Once caught, an icon crocodile must only be sent to a registered crocodile farm or zoo which agrees to house it for the rest of its days and to use it for educational purposes,' he said.

    Dr Miles said the placement of an icon crocodile must be done in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the relevant Traditional Owners.

    “In this case the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people wanted the crocodile to stay on their country and suggested it go to the Billabong Sanctuary,' he said.

    “I am pleased that Billabong Sanctuary has agreed to meet all of the requirements for housing and presenting this icon crocodile to sanctuary visitors'.

    Billabong Sanctuary signed an agreement with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) on 25 February 2016, setting out how it would use the crocodile to promote crocodile conservation, the importance of crocodiles to Traditional Owners, and public safety messages about crocodiles.

    The Strand crocodile was caught by five EHP wildlife officers on 3 February 2016, after a member of the public had reported it swimming close to shore along The Strand that morning.

    “The crocodile was so heavy, that once brought ashore, it took five wildlife officers and two police officers to lift the caged animal onto a tray truck for transport to EHP’s crocodile holding facility in Townsville,' Dr Miles said.

    Arrangements are in place to transfer the crocodile to Billabong Sanctuary this Thursday, March 3.

    Dr Miles said crocodile sightings should be reported to EHP on 1300 130 372 and the department would investigate all crocodile reports it received.

    Further information on crocodiles and being “Crocwise” in “Croc Country”, including video safety tips, is available on EHP’s website at www.ehp.qld.gov.au.

    ENDS

    MEDIA: 0412 393 909