Four estuarine crocs have been removed from a Queensland barramundi farm after being found inside a fence that was designed to keep them out. Mart Phillips, the Mourilyan Aquaculture owner, spent $20,000 on a crocodile-proof fence after noticing an increasing amount of crocodiles around his area. Little did he know that there were already four crocodiles lurking around on his property. He explains:
We put up a boundary fence along the creek bank to try and stop the animals coming in, but in the process of doing this we've trapped some animals in.
The crocodiles ranged in size from 3.1 metres to infant size. The four crocodiles caught in the fence were found a month after the first crocodile was found within Phillip’s property.
We catch one every now and again when we go harvesting fish. It gets caught up in the net that we use to crowd up the barramundi for harvest, "I try not to think about what they've been eating but they're not going to eat all my fish. There's hundreds of thousands of fish swimming around here.
The discovery has prompted Phillips to implement strict new health and safety procedures at Pejo Enterprises:
Going into ponds, there's always two people, both looking out and just erring on the side of caution.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection removed the reptiles and dropped them off at a crocodile farm, where they will be used for breeding.
Phillips has high hopes for his fence and believes there won’t be any more reptilian intruders in the near future:
We've removed some of the larger culprits now, so hopefully, it doesn't happen too much going forward, we'll just keep monitoring and see if the fence works, but time will tell.
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