Massive homesick saltwater crocodile travels more than 400 kilometres in an epic 20 day trek to return to his original river after he was relocated.
A saltwater crocodile trekked more than 400km in less than 20 days to return home after being relocated to the shock of researchers.
Professor Craig Franklin with the University of Queensland’s school of biological sciences moved three problem saltwater crocodiles to far north Queensland several years ago and were surprised when one turned right back around and came home, according to The Brisbane Times.
The journey from Cape York back south to its original habitat of Wenlock River in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve destroyed Professor Franklin’s notion that saltwater crocs that pose as a threat to livestock and humans could be shifted north.
The test also proved for the first time that crocodiles use the currents of the water to help them travel, Professor Franklin said.
‘If they are travelling long distances in river systems they will use tidal movement in and out of the river to facilitate,’ he said.
The 350kg croc that was moved to the east coast of Cape York, the northern most part of the state, was four-and-a-half metres long.
Because the results proved the migration north wouldn’t be possible, Professor Franklin and his team began tagging 130 crocodiles beginning in 2008 to follow their movements in the longest tracking survey done on crocs ever, the academic said.
‘These days in the age of climate change what we want is long-term data that goes over multiple years and that way you can see the patterns that emerge and the animals behaviour and movements,’ Professor Franklin said.
By learning more about them, the public can be educated on how to peacefully coexist in the same areas as the crocodiles, he said.
‘We can inform people how to behave around crocodiles and then how to reduce those negative interactions, which is good for humans and good for crocodiles.’