Aw snap! – another saltie caught in Katherine

SNAPPED UP: Senior wildlife ranger John Burke helped pull the 2.7 metre male saltie from Donkey Camp, north of Katherine, this morning.
SNAPPED UP: Senior wildlife ranger John Burke helped pull the 2.7 metre male saltie from Donkey Camp, north of Katherine, this morning.

ANOTHER dangerous saltwater crocodile was trapped in the Katherine River today.

A 2.7 metre crocodile was pulled from Donkey Camp, north of the town, this morning to become the fourth saltwater crocodile trapped in the Katherine region this year. 

Northern Territory Wildlife rangers only set the trap up last week. 

“This croc would have swum through the Low Level and Knotts Crossing to get to where it was caught,” ranger Clare Pearce said.

Donkey Camp is where Katherine draws its fresh water for treatment from the Katherine River.

Rangers later took the crocodile for a show and tell at Kintore Street School.

Edith capture late last week

Rangers removed a  3.1 metre male crocodile in a trap at Leliyn/Edith Falls on Thursday.

This is the first saltwater crocodile caught in the bottom pools of the Edith falls. 

Senior wildlife ranger John Burke today said he saw a group of men swimming with their dogs at the Low Level crossing last week. 

“It was a disaster waiting to happen,” ranger Burke said. 

GOTCHA: Four saltwater crocodiles have been caught already this year.

GOTCHA: Four saltwater crocodiles have been caught already this year.

The return of the traditional wet season has seen river levels reach 15 metres at downstream Katherine and almost reach minor flood levels at the gorge.

“Last year we caught four or five, but this year with the river levels rising a lot higher, there is a greater chance a lot more salties are around,” ranger Burke said. 

“We can’t get to the traps during the wet season to check them, so we start to put the out towards the end, around now.”

Many locals were surprised with the capture of the male crocodile in a trap at Edith Falls on Thursday.

This is the first saltwater crocodile caught in the bottom pools. 

“That is the first one caught in the plunge pool,” ranger Pearce said.

‘Their natural habitat’

“But that is its natural habitat, people can expect to find them in any Top End waterway.

“There is always going to be crocodiles moving in and out of this area, particularly in the wet season,” she said. 

“There have been signs of crocodiles in this area before and there have been freshies in here forever it is just the first time one has been caught.

“It just goes to show that the crocodile management plan is working,” ranger Pearce said. 

CROCODILE TRAP: Rangers nabbed a  3.1 metre male crocodile in a trap Edith Falls on Thursday.

CROCODILE TRAP: Rangers nabbed a 3.1 metre male crocodile in a trap Edith Falls on Thursday.

With four saltwater crocs trapped already this year, Katherine is on track to beat its crocodile capture number of six, from the whole of last year. 

Only nine saltwater crocodiles have been taken from Nitmiluk Gorge since 2006. 

Two of those were caught this year. 

3.7m saltie was trapped and removed on February 17 and a second. a 3.4m croc, was trapped on March 24.

To report saltwater crocodile sightings in the Darwin region phone 0419 822 859 or in the Katherine region phone 0407 958 405.