Crocodile safety
Crikey, there's a crocodile there so here's what to do to stay safe!
Alexander Pan avatar
Written by Alexander Pan
Updated over a week ago

Crocodiles are typically associated with three things: Steve Irwin, Australia, and being dangerous. While we can't really do much about the first two things, we can certainly help out with keeping people safe from crocs.

We're not going to get into what crocodiles are - we all know what they are - but we will dive into some safety tips for those living in croc country, those who plan on fishing in croc territory, and those who plan to camp or swim near crocodile habitats.

Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.

General crocodile safety tips

  • ALWAYS obey crocodile warning signs.

  • Stay at least five metres away from the water's edge.

  • Dispose of food scraps in a bin.

  • Do not feed crocodiles.

  • Be extra cautious at night, dusk and dawn.

  • Stay well away from crocodile traps.

  • Dogs are attractive prey.

  • Watch out for them in unusual places after high tides or rain.

  • Breeding females will defend their nests aggressively so stay extra vigilant.

  • More active during the warmer months of the wet season.

Fishing safety tips

  • Stand at least five metres back from the water’s edge when fishing.

  • Use an esky, tackle box or similar object as a barrier between you and the water.

  • Leave the fishing lure - People have been attacked by a croc when recovering it.

  • Tie off your cast net to your boat. In the event that a crocodile is caught in a cast net, this will prevent you from being pulled into the water.

  • Dispose of unused bait and fish scraps in a bin.

Camping safety tips

  • Camp at least 50 metres from the water’s edge and two metres above the high-water mark. Crocs have attacked people at campsites too close to the water.

  • Limit your time at the water’s edge when collecting water and don’t use the same spot repeatedly - Crocodiles are good at recognising repeated behaviours.

Swimming, boating and other water recreational activity safety tips

  • Your boat is your barrier so keep the boat between yourself and the water when launching or retrieving it, and face the water whenever possible.

  • Keep your arms and legs inside your boat at all times.

  • Do not use kayaks, paddleboards and other small craft in crocodile habitat areas. The smaller the vessel, the greater the risk as crocodiles have taken people from small vessels.

If you're swimming, stay extra vigilant as no waterway in Croc Country can ever be considered crocodile free. If you must swim, reduce your risk by:

  • Swimming between the flags at patrolled beaches.

  • Do not swim at dawn, dusk or at night when crocodiles are most active.

  • Do not swim in murky water.

  • Read and obey all crocodile warning signs.

  • Understand that crocodiles usually hunt by staying submerged and can attack in knee-deep water so wading can still be dangerous.

  • The removal of crocodiles in an area doesn’t eliminate the risk of an attack.

What to do if you spot a crocodile

In the Oceania region, crocodiles are most commonly found throughout the Top End and Katherine Regions of the Northern Territory, as well as the Northern parts of Queensland.

If you're in the NT and you spot one, you can report it to:

  • Darwin - 0419 822 859 or (08) 8999 4691

  • Katherine - 0407 958 405 or (08) 8973 8888

For those in QLD, report all crocodile sightings by:

  • Accessing the QWildlife app on iOS and Android.

  • Filling out an online sighting report.

  • Calling 1300 130 372 (select option 1).

  • Contacting your local council.

Make sure you take note of the following details when reporting a crocodile sighting:

  • The location of the crocodile

  • Estimated size and length

  • Time of the day that it was sighted

  • Your name and phone number just in case you're needed for further information.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Image credit: Rae Wallis at Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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