A MAN has been charged for allegedly shooting a massive 5.2-metre crocodile to death in central Queensland.
The large reptile was found in the Fitzroy River, near Rockhampton, with a bullet in its head on September 21.
Detectives from the Queensland Police Service’s major and organised crime squad charged a 31-year-old man following a search of two Etna Creek properties yesterday.
They allegedly found two rifles, ammunition and several electronic devices.
The Etna Creek man was issued with a notice to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on January 12, charged with unlawfully taking a class three protected animal.
Department of Environment and Science conservation and biodiversity operations director Michael Joyce said it was an offence to take a crocodile without permission.
“In Queensland, estuarine crocodiles are protected under the Nature Conversation Act 1992,” he said in a statement on Friday.
“The maximum penalty for the unlawful killing of a crocodile is $28,383.75.”
The huge saltwater crocodile was taken to the nearby Koorana Crocodile Farm following its discovery.
Farm owner John Leaver said at the time a 5m-long crocodile had not been caught in Queensland for 20 to 30 years.
“There may have been some others shot in the wild that we don’t know about, but from my recollection, over the past three decades this would be the largest,” he said.