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Mystery still surrounds Chermside croc now living it large on the Goldie


A baby crocodile found in a Brisbane suburban park more than a year ago has grown 10 centimetres but authorities are still no closer to solving how he arrived in the state capital.

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The crocodile was named Snappy in a Facebook poll after his discovery in 7th Brigade Park at Chermside mid last year generated headlines and massive community interest.

Despite the spotlight on Snappy, investigators still remain in the dark on how he ended up in the park on Brisbane’s north side.

Given his distressed and dehydrated state, they suspect the crocodile had been captured and held before being released.

At the time of his rescue, Snappy measured 40cm, large enough to be able to eat insects and small fish, of which there are plenty in Downfall Creek that runs through the park.

Investigators say he hadn’t adapted to his environment, indicating his stay in the park had been short.

They haven’t ruled out the possibility that Snappy could be part of a larger illegal trafficking operation in Australian wildlife.

“There’s certainly no way that he could have got there without human intervention,” a spokesman said.

“Their habitat in Queensland starts at Rockhampton, extending north of the Tropic of Capricorn.

“A little fella like that isn’t going to swim 600 kilometres on his own, avoid predators and survive through colder temperatures to end up in a place one kilometre from Chermside Shopping Centre.

“There’s definitely foul play involved, which is why we still want anyone who has information to call 1300 130 372.”

After being discovered by a member of the public, who threw a towel over the crocodile until rangers arrived, Snappy – who probably should have been called Lucky – was taken to David Fleay’s Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast.

He is now 50cm in length and has gained more 150 grams, which is off the pace of normal growth rates for crocodiles which generally take 10 years to reach three metres.

As a result, he has his own special enclosure that allows for more natural light and exposure to natural weather patterns, without the risk of predators.

Senior ranger Miles Pritchett said Snappy’s diet has transitioned from small pieces of meat to more whole foods which include fish and crayfish.

“Which is why he’s putting on weight,” Pritchett said.

“He is a bit of a staff favourite here too, because he was found hundreds of kilometres from his normal range, and his backstory, which unfortunately may never be known, has everyone guessing.”

Pritchett said it was Snappy’s backstory that ensured he became part of Fleay’s Wildlife Ambassador Team.

“As a Fleay’s ambassador, Snappy is actively involved in visitor education presentations to school groups and the general public up to three times a week,” he said.

“The Fleays education programs provide visitors with a unique insight into key features and survival challenges for crocodiles in the wild.

“Rangers also share important safety messages with visitors who may visit northern Queensland, and take the opportunity to highlight the challenges and issues about the illegal trade of wildlife in Queensland.”

Snappy will remain within the off-limits enclosure and will be actively involved in the park’s immersive educational program until he reaches 1.2m in size.

“When he grows beyond 1.2m, his size becomes a greater risk for handling and he will be moved into an external exhibit, where he will still play an ambassadorial role,” Pritchett said.

“Fleay’s already has a very large male crocodile on display, Mojo who is 4.5m and Madonna a female who is around 3m, with their enclosure currently being redeveloped to enhance the environment.

“Snappy still has plenty of growing to reach 1.2m, and when he does, a decision will be made as to whether he stays with Fleay’s or is transferred to another wildlife park or zoo.”


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