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Mornington Shire Council is urging residents to stay away from the main swimming and fishing area between Mornington Island and Denim Island. Two large Melamen Dawar (Lardil for crocodile) have been seen multiple times sunning themselves on the foreshore and crossing the channel between islands. It is indicated there is a three-metre-long female and a very large male over five metres.

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Saltwater (also called Estuarine) crocodiles play an important role as an apex (top) predator in marine, estuaries, rivers, and wetlands of tropical Australia. The Australian government has made the commitment to the conservation of this species. These animals can prey on large mammals, including humans. This means locals and visitors to the Wellesley Island area need to know about the habits of these reptiles.

Here is a summary of the “croc-wise” guidelines:

  • Don’t swim where crocodiles are actively living
  • Crocodiles are ambush hunters, and able to lunge out of the water – Mornington Shire Council urges residents to avoid water activities like fishing
  • When boating, keep arms and legs out of water at all times
  • Stay away from slide marks: they are the spots where crocodiles habitually haul themselves on shore
  • Don’t provoke or interfere with crocodiles (this includes small hatchlings).
  • Don’t feed crocodiles, either directly, or by leaving fish and food scraps on boat ramps or campsites
  • Avoid wildlife drinking spots: crocodiles are patient and learned hunters, they know these spots are likely places to find a meal
  • September until April is breeding season so crocodiles are often more aggressive, territorial, and hungry during this time of the year

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