Wildlife authorities in far north Queensland are still searching for a freshwater crocodile photographed with its mouth taped shut on the Mitchell River last week.
The photo was taken on Wednesday last week and given to the RSPCA, which handed it on to the Department of Environment and Science.
Wildlife officers are now trying to track down the croc and remove the tape from its mouth so it can go back into the wild before it starves to death.
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It was photographed near Mount Carbine, west of Cairns.
Deliberately interfering, harming or killing a freshwater crocodile carries a maximum $30,000 fine in Qld.
According to the ABC, a young saltwater crocodile was found with its jaws similarly taped up near Daintree in September, where it was rescued by a tourism operator.
Freshwater crocodiles aren’t as scary as saltwater crocodiles.
They are generally smaller, have a more narrow nose similar to an alligator, and are more timid, subsisting on small animals and rarely attacking people.
“Like many wild animals, freshwater crocodiles may become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered, and people are encouraged not to approach the animals if they see them in the wild,” Qld Department of Environment and Science said.
“If left alone freshwater crocodiles generally pose very little danger to the community.”
A Department spokesperson told news.com.au “the investigation is ongoing, and we’re hoping members of the public might see the croc and report it”.
Anyone who sees the crocodile is advised to call the Department on 1300 130 372 and to definitely not try and remove the tape themselves.