What appears to be a resting crocodile has been spotted on the edge of the Maroochy River.
What appears to be a resting crocodile has been spotted on the edge of the Maroochy River. Scott McVey

Croc sighting or a prank gone wrong?

A PRANK could be behind a crocodile sighting in the Maroochy River which has again sparked debate over the reptile's existence on the Sunshine Coast.   

The Department of Environment and Science is investigating the sighting, which was captured on video and shared on Facebook.

A spokesman said after viewing the video, there were concerns the crocodile could have been killed and placed on the banks before it was found by a fisherman.  

In a statement issued by the department late yesterday, it stated that wildlife officers had confirmed that the behaviour displayed by the animal in the video was not typical crocodile behaviour.   

"It would be highly unusual for a saltwater crocodile to appear naturally in Sunshine Coast waterways."  

What appears to bee a resting crocodile has been spotten on the edge of the Maroochy River.
A similar sighting in 2017 prompted wildlife officers to erect crocodile warning signs at Coolum Creek. Scott McVey

As the video went viral on social media yesterday, the Daily was contacted by a concerned resident claiming the crocodile was fake.  

They said they had received information that the fake had been placed in an upstream section of the Maroochy River during a fishing session targeting mangrove jack.  

The Daily has been unable to confirm the validity of those claims.  

Filmed at night and posted by Scott McVey, the video shows fishermen in a boat approach what appears to be a small crocodile sitting motionless on the muddy banks of a mangrove flat.  

Crocodile spotted at Maroochy River: Video: Scott McVey
Crocodile spotted at Maroochy River: Video: Scott McVey

"Watch out for this crocodile here," someone is heard saying.  

"There's a proper crocodile down here somewhere.  

"Maroochy River crocodiles mate. They exist!"  

Despite claims of a prank, the sighting has divided Facebook users over the existence of crocodiles in Sunshine Coast waterways.  

Many were convinced this was proof, but others were dismissive.  

"The mangrove structure is very different, looks like it is up North Queensland mangroves. And it had been raining ... and we haven't had rain for a while," Joey McInnes said.  

The last reported crocodile sighting on the Sunshine Coast came in 2017 by a teenager fishing in Coolum Creek near the West Coolum boat ramp.  

He claims to have seen a two-metre-long crocodile basking on the banks, which led to warning signs being erected nearby.  

Wildlife officers conducted patrols but were unable to find any clues that might have pointed to a wayward reptile.   Many believed the teenager had actually mistaken a large goanna for a crocodile.

There are similar theories for the latest Maroochy River sighting.  

"My partner was sunbaking at Northshore beach when a goanna came swimming from the water and climbed the nearest tree! She too thought it was a small crocodile," Malcolm Smurray said.  

The 2017 sighting sparked a flood of reported croc sightings, both historical and recent, but none have been confirmed as genuine by authorities.  

Mr McVey was contacted for comment.