VIDEO | Croc without a head: an unusual find off Port Douglas


Nick Malachi, a local adventurer, came across an unusual find out crabbing near Port Douglas earlier this week when he found a headless crocodile in the mangroves.

Mr Malachi said he was checking his crab pots in Sandfly Creek, behind Magazine Island at the mouth of Dickson Inlet in Port Douglas.

“When I picked up my last crab pot it was all crushed up probably by a crocodile,” he said.

Further up the creek, Mr Malachi came across what he initially believed was a floating piece of plastic on the edge of the mangroves. He dragged it out and discovered it was a meter and a half crocodile, minus its head.

See Nick Malachi's video of a headless crocodile below (warning may contain graphic images):

“It was pretty surprising to find, realising it was a crocodile and it was a bit smelly it must have been there a couple of days.”

Mr Malachi said he believed it was probably another larger crocodile that had claimed the animal's head.

“I’d say probably whatever smashed this croc is what got my crab pot.

“I’m wondering why it didn’t eat the rest of the body though and just took the head, that is the wired part. It could have been something else I suppose, maybe a fisherman taking the head, but who knows,” he said.

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A spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) viewed photos of the animal and said due to the level of decomposition the cause of death is hard to determine.

“Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to report it to DES on 1300 130 372,” the spokesperson said.

“It is an offence under Section 88 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to deliberately harm or kill an estuarine crocodile. The maximum penalty is $30,026.”

DES advises that the Port Douglas region is known Croc Country and people in the area are reminded to always be Crocwise. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in ALL north Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign
  • Obey all warning signs – they are there to keep you safe
  • Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night
  • Stay well away from croc traps
  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, or at boat ramps
  • Never provoke, harass or feed crocs
  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead
  • Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country
  • Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.

Further information on being Crocwise is available at: 

See Nick Malachi's video of his smashed crab pot below:

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