5m croc shot after being lured with school bell


MONSTER-sized crocodiles are being lured to a Cape York school by the school bell, after associating the sound with an easy meal.

Rangers were forced to shoot a 5m saltwater crocodile that was found lurking in Cowal Creek behind Northern Peninsula Area State College's Injinoo Junior Campus, last month.

3.7m long saltwater crocodile captured by rangers at Injinoo, near a primary school
3.7m long saltwater crocodile captured by rangers at Injinoo, near a primary school

The crocodile was believed to have been attracted to the area, after a dog was taken by from the creek's bank by a croc earlier last month.

The attack was captured on video by a school staff member, and posted on social media.

A Department of Environment and Science spokesman said the 5m croc, which was humanely euthanised on March 28, had been displaying dangerous behaviour around a boat ramp and near the state school.

"Due to the unacceptable risk the crocodile posed to human safety, including students at the nearby school, along with the animal's dangerous behaviour, a decision was made in partnership with traditional owners to humanely euthanise the crocodile," he said.

Injinoo-based land and sea ranger Angelina Williams did not believe the croc - which she said could have been up to 6m long - was the same one that was filmed taking the dog.

"They went down to show (DES) the back of the fence, where the dog was taken and at the same time, this croc came around," she said.

"But we don't know whether it's the same animal."

She said crocodiles had been hanging around the school for many years.

"Every time the (school) bell rings, a croc comes around, because the kids are throwing their food scraps over the fence, into the creek," she said.

"The croc that was filmed was probably coming in to get the scraps."

She said it was too dangerous to remove the large crocodile's body from the creek, which had sunk underwater.

A 3.7m crocodile was removed from the creek by wildlife officers in June 2014, after it was spotted several times outside the school.

At the time, the school's principal suggested the reptile - which was nicknamed "Pavlov's croc" - had been lured by the school bell.