What A Croc ...

I try hard these days to stay away from local stories esp 'news', but every so often, there is something that's just so utterly bloody ridiculous that I feel compelled to poke at it with a sharp stick.

The other day, someone thrust the local gossip sheet that sometimes masquerades as a newspaper under my nose. They had run a story about Crocodiles, or more precisely - the dire threat to life and limb that they pose.

They quoted 'community leaders', who were insisting that something had to be done about crocodiles disrupting their leisure activities.

One such person was introduced in the column as a:

Port Douglas Outriggers Canoe Club member and well-known Port Douglas resident Wendy Morris

Well known resident? - I don't know her - never even heard of her till now ... 'course millionaires and I tend to drink in different establishments and I don't live in Port - but still ...

Anyway, the guts of the story is that a few people want crocs killed so that they can feel safe playing in little boats or letting their kids paddle about at the waters edge [don't forget that we now have to have a pool fence to 'protect the children' - even if ya don't have any, but apparently it's fine to let them hang out at the waters edge - where presumably if they are at risk from crocs, they are also at risk from drowning ...

Blows my tiny mind.

Let's be clear about this. Crocodiles are not the problem here, the real problem is the arrogance of people who feel that oceans and rivers are there solely for their own recreation. I've got some news for these people. Killing crocs won't make the water ways 'safe'.

You can't kill 'em all and if you do kill the majority, others will migrate to take advantage of the new territory.

Croc tourism brings with it a substantial amount of money to the area - far, far more than canoeing ever could. Moreover, just how irresponsible do ya have to be to go out into water ways that house large predators in a bloody canoe in the first place!. Especially when people have been killed by crocs as recently as 2005 doing so - it's reckless and cavalier.

I've got zero sympathy for people who scream victim when they alone are responsible for the consequences of their actions.

The fact of the matter is that Northern Australia has crocs.

It also has sharks and venomous jellyfish and cyclones and highly venomous snakes and caterpillars that give you a painful rash and a bird with spikes on its wings and another bird that has been known to disembowel people and poisonous toads and mildly venomous lizards ... in short, Northern Australia is AWESOME!.

It's the people who are buggering it all up.

And it should be noted that the majority of people who want hand sanitisers on the beach and the coastline covered in non-slip mats are generally from somewhere else - they moved here for the regions stunning uniqueness but after a while want to make it just like the place they left.

How quintessentially human eh?.

People get 'taken' by Crocs, sure - but you have to ask yourself; Was it the croc? or their own complacency that killed them?.

Here's a small montage showing just how easy it is for a croc to avoid detection:

Quietly watching the bank

Senses it's been seen

The croc is just below the surface - watching

That croc submerged so gently there was barely a ripple - no sound at all ... and it stayed right there, under the surface - virtually invisible in shallow water. You wouldn't know it was there until it was dragging you and your daft bloody canoe into the water.

You could argue that I'm a wildlife nut - that I have a personal interest in not seeing crocs killed. And you'd be right. But I don't have a financial interest - I receive zero money promoting my passion for wildlife - can the people who want crocs killed say the same thing about what they're promoting?. Reading between the lines of that 'piece' there was an undercurrent of shameless entitlement and a stunning disregard for personal responsibility.

The sad and slightly pathetic thing is that if asked, the same people who want to kill crocs undoubtedly believe in 'protecting the environment' ... just not the bits of it that they find inconvenient or frightening - and that, more than anything else, is reason enough to write this post. Sure, recycle, ride a bike, install solar panels to heat ya water ... yay you. But it all means nothing if we can't appreciate the connection we have with ALL living things ... even the scary ones - actually, esp the scary ones - cause when they go, we go. Think about it.

Tidal waterways of Northern Australia are not and never have been playgrounds - if you want to play in the water here, build a pool [and you'd better bloody fence it] or find an inland lake to show off in - IMO either learn to live with the amazing wildlife we have - or live somewhere else.

Here endeth the lesson ...


  1. Fantastic post Paulie. Something needed to be said on behalf of the crocs. These people need to find a nice lake to canoe on and leave our endangered wildlife alone...


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