Stolen Baby Croc Handed In After Long Road Trip
Croc Thief Returns Hatchling
Thousands of kilometres from its home, a baby Crocodile has been found and returned to a nearby zoo in Sunshine Coast.
Officials explained that the hatchling was taken in western Queensland, and the perpetrator travelled thousands of kilometres into outback regions before surrendering the freshwater croc at a zoo in Childers.
Removing a reptile from the wild and travelling away from its natural habitat is harmful, and can attract a fine of up to $5,000.
Department of Environment wildlife officer Tina Ball said the thief travelled 1600km before deciding to do the right thing, yet they didn't leave any contact details.
"It's believed the person who dropped it off was travelling to the Sunshine Coast and was going to release it in a waterway as they didn't want it anymore," she said.
The zoo believes "the freshwater crocodile was taken from the wild in the Mt Isa area a few months ago," said Ball.
Officials took care of the young reptile, providing a veterinary check before the department of environment was notified.
"The crocodile was observed to be active and swimming and was found to be in good health following a vet check, which is pleasing given the ordeal that it had suffered."
"It is cruel and potentially fatal when any native animal is removed from the wild and transported in a box or cage over long distances."
Safe in the hands of wildlife officials, the baby freshwater croc will now quarantine in a wildlife centre in Brisbane, just like any other long-distance traveller!
Ms Ball and her team will then search north for its exact home in the Cape York and Townsville region.
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