October 30th 2008
Is Wighty Houdini heading home?
While Island business people and local politicians fume at the presence of Wighty Houdini, the elusive crocodile which has been visiting Magnetic Island for the last three weeks, the EPA is now about to bring in a helicopter to track the satellite-wired beastie when his location beacon records his position again this afternoon.
Hopes are, no doubt, building that today's GPS position of W.H., which comes in from the transmitter glued to his back and is uploaded to a satellite once every five days, will enable the EPA to finally catch up with him. But after two days of zero sightings around Magnetic, it may just be that W.H. has reverted to the astonishing pattern of homeward movement, now being studied about his species, and is again heading north and for home at the tip of Cape York.
EPA's Manager of Wildlife, Mike Devery, told Magnetic Times that the croc, was relocated into a National Park at Barramundi Creek, also known as Combe Creek or, more appropriately, Big Salty Creek, about 50 kms south of Townsville. It was a location which was low in croc density and therefore likely, it was thought, to be a spot where a new croc would make the place home.
The EPA's Croc's in Space program has shown that crocs on the Cape have travelled 450kms to get home. Mike Devery described the Barramundi Creek relocation as an "order of magnitude" greater relocation. About 1000kms in total. One might then assume that, if W.H. evades the EPA and makes it home to Bamaga it would be a new record and perhaps place saltwater crocs as the most homesick reptiles on the planet.
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