Rangers search for ‘massive’ saltie at Far North beach
WILDLIFE officers have confirmed sightings of a "massive" crocodile on a Far North beach near a makeshift playground popular with schoolchildren.
A search is under way for the crocodile believed to be frequenting an abandoned shipwreck downstream from the boat ramp.
Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science have conducted a search, confirming tracks from a crocodile walking from the beach towards the area, which backs onto an inlet off the Mossman River.
There have been a number of sightings of the animal over the past month.
A DES spokesman said a large saltwater crocodile was seen about 20 metres off the beach in open water last Thursday.
The saltie, believed to be over 4.5m in length, has concerned a number of Cooya Beach residents.
"Wildlife officers are monitoring for further reports," the spokesman told the Gazette.
"Recent warning signs have been installed and wildlife officers are monitoring the area."
Rangers trapped a 3.2 metre croc from the mouth of the Mossman River at Cooya Beach in March.
Resident George Pitt said the current animal "was close to a five-metre croc" and warned parents to keep their kids away from the shipwreck.
The land where the wreck is located is controlled by the Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation.
Jabalbina wildlife rangers patrolled the area in March after a saltie was said to be stalking people near the boat ramp.