Emma-Kate Currie of the Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council says the croc should be released back into the Mary River estuary but not where it was likely to come into contact with people.
Emma-Kate Currie of the Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council says the croc should be released back into the Mary River estuary but not where it was likely to come into contact with people. Carlie Walker

Release croc back into Mary River: environmentalist

ALLOWING crocodiles to live near Maryborough's CBD could be dangerous, but one environmentalist doesn't believe the crocodile caught in the Mary River on Thursday should be removed completely from the river's ecosystem.

Emma-Kate Currie from the Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council said she believed the crocodile should be released back into the Mary River estuary but not where it was likely to come into contact with people.

"Obviously it's a tricky one," Ms Currie said.

"Obviously people don't want to live in existence with crocodiles.

"There's quite an issue there with human safety.

"However we don't want to see necessarily all the crocodiles removed from this system until we understand what role they are playing here and until we understand that in its entirety.

When asked how the crocodile might have arrived in the Mary River, Ms Currie said it was hard to be sure.

"It's really hard to say," she said.

"There have been crocodiles sighted in this river for a very long time, it is hard to say whether they have migrated south."

Ms Currie said it was important to reinforce that having crocodiles in the river wasn't necessarily a risk to the public, adding that there were already bull sharks in Fraser Coast waterways.

This 3.1m croc was harpooned by rangers in the Mary River about 2am on Thursday.
This 3.1m croc was harpooned by rangers in the Mary River about 2am on Thursday. Carlie Walker