A freshwater crocodile walking into a service station is not the beginning of a joke, but a very real situation for members of the public and the Queensland Police Service in Townsville.

Around 7pm on Tuesday 19 March 2024, police officers called Senior Wildlife Officer Tony Frisby and advised him of a crocodile at a service station on Riverway Drive at Condon.

Mr Frisby attended the service station and captured and removed a 1.4 metre freshwater crocodile from the service station.

The crocodile was taken to the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation’s facility in Townsville, where it was placed into a secure pond.

Wildlife officers monitored the crocodile on Wednesday 20 March 2024, and the animal was found to be in a healthy condition before being released into suitable habitat in the Ross River above the weir.

Ms Frisby said Townsville is home to a healthy population of freshwater crocodiles, particularly above the weir on the Ross River.

“We do not know why the freshwater crocodile entered the service station, but with recent heavy rainfall, crocodiles of all size and species are on the move,” Mr Frisby said.

“Crocodiles can turn up in unexpected places during the warmer months as they move around looking for food, a mate and territory, and they can also seek higher ground or calmer waters during periods of heavy rain.

“A crocodile walking into a service station is a reminder that Townsville is Croc Country, and people should be Crocwise at all times.

“The animal was released as freshwater crocodiles are smaller and not considered as dangerous compared to estuarine crocodiles.

“Freshwater crocodiles are timid and will usually flee at the first sight of people approaching, but they will act defensively if they feel cornered or threatened and people should observe them from a distance.”

People are reminded to report all estuarine crocodile sightings to the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation as soon as possible.

Estuarine crocodile sightings can be reported by using the QWildlife app, completing a crocodile sighting report on the DESI website, or by calling 1300 130 372. The department investigates every crocodile sighting report received.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.des.qld.gov.au/our-department/news-media/mediareleases/a-freshwater-crocodile-walks-into-a-service-station