This is the shocking moment four men were snapped swimming inside a crocodile trap, which are usually baited with partial pig carcasses to draw in the reptiles.
Queensland authorities are investigating after photos emerged of the incident in a Cairns river, but are ‘concerned’ by the incident.
The foolhardy swimmers were photographed entering a crocodile cage just off the shore, with one man even climbing on top of the mesh to shut the cage door.
In one of the photos, a man appears to be locking the other men inside the underwater trap.
‘The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection condemns in the strongest possible terms the stupid and reckless interference with crocodile traps,’ a spokesperson said.
‘These traps are specifically designed to attract crocodiles and they are deployed in places where a problem crocodile is known to be present. It is extremely dangerous to interfere with a crocodile trap, regardless of whether or not there is a crocodile within.
‘It is not an exaggeration to say that interfering with crocodile traps can be potentially life-threatening for the person concerned.
‘It also places the general public at risk if the trap is tampered with in such a way that it becomes inoperative, hampering the ability of the Department to deliver its important public safety role.
‘It is also illegal. Anyone who deliberately interferes with the operation of a crocodile trap faces a fine of more than $15,000.’
‘It should go without saying that if a crocodile trap is deployed it is because there is a crocodile in the vicinity so the best advice would be to leave the trap alone and exercise Crocwise behaviour.’
The Department of Environment has also warned of an increase in crocodiles and snakes due to recent rainfall and flooding.
People are also warned that crocodiles move further upstream during very high tides and periods of flooding and may move into new areas.
The Department of Environment recommends everyone in ‘Croc Country’ be extra vigilant and take responsibility for their own safety by reading the safety guidelines.
This incident comes less than a week after human remains were found inside a crocodile that is believed to have eaten an elderly grandmother.
‘The crocodile, which is believed to be the one involved in the death of 79-year-old Anne Cameron, was examined by a specialist in Cairns [on Monday] with human remains being located inside,’ police officers said.
Ms Cameron was last seen in Port Douglas near an OzCare Aged Care facility last week, and a report is being prepared for the coroner.
Her remains and walking stick were later found by police next to Craiglie Creek, connected to Mowbray River, less than two kilometres from the aged care facility.
Baited traps were set along the creek to capture the crocodile, which searchers believed hid in the muddy waters near mangroves.
Video footage showed the baited traps being set along the Mowbray River on Sunday.
EHP has launched an investigation and anyone with information which may assist is urged to contact EHP on 1300 130 372.