Howard the crocodile is being targeted for removal by rangers. (Supplied: David White, Solar Whisper Tours)
A 10-year-old boy has penned a letter pleading with authorities not to touch a giant crocodile that has been targeted for removal.
- A resident complained the 4-metre crocodile, has been sunning himself on a creek bank, that backs onto homes
- Tourist operator says Howard has never caused a problem
- The department says the crocodile will be removed to another location
The 4-metre crocodile, known as Howard, has long been part of the small community of Miallo, north of Cairns, in far north Queensland.
But the State’s Environment Department has now set a trap after a resident complained that Howard had been sunning himself on a creek bank, that backs onto homes.
Schoolboy Elroy Woods said he had written to the State’s Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch, asking for the trap to be removed.
Elroy Woods, 10, is trying to save Howard the crocodile from being caught. (Supplied: Melissa Hill)
“I lived at Bamboo Creek Road for five years, right on Saltwater Creek,” he wrote.
“I loved watching Howard the crocodile sunbake and enjoyed seeing him from the bridge every afternoon.”
“I’m very saddened that Howard is being moved away from his home and I don’t understand why a trap is there for Howard,” he said in the letter.
Not a problem croc
Elroy is not the only resident to come to Howard’s defence — resident and tourism operator David White said Howard had never been a problem.
“I know sometimes crocodiles have to be removed because they stalk people and boats, but Howard’s never done that,” Mr White said.
“This crocodile is in a saltwater creek where no one swims.”
He also said removing a big, dominant crocodile could see other, more aggressive crocodiles take over the area.
Elroy’s mother, Melissa Hills, said she hoped her son’s letter would make it to Environment Minister Leanne Enoch.
“I was tidying up his room when I found it and we decided to post it,” Ms Hills said.
Elroy said he was “very careful” around crocodiles.
“I always stand back at least 6 metres from the water’s edge and don’t go near the water at all when it is dark.”
Environment Department says Howard won’t be destroyed
A department spokeswoman said it had received a phone call from a member of the public after the crocodile was spotted basking on the creek bank, backing onto a private property last month.
Under Queensland’s Crocodile Management Plan, the reptile is automatically targeted for removal because of its location.
The ABC understands that while the crocodile would be removed, it would not be destroyed.
A crocodile trap similar to this one has been set up to catch “Howard” the crocodile. (ABC News: Erin Parke)