Townsville’s Billabong Sanctuary was evacuated on Saturday morning when a 3.8 metre crocodile escaped its enclosure.
The wildlife park posted on its Facebook page an emergency response plan was activated before 10.30am, after the Dynamo the crocodile “bashed his way out through the lower part of a gate designed for vehicle access.”
A staff member spotted Dynamo near another crocodile enclosure and all customers were escorted out the park, the post said.
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“Dynamo, at this stage, had made his way to the nearby edge of the billabong and was enticed out of the water with food, jaw roped, dragged out of the water and strapped to a board,” said general manager Bob Flemming in the social media post.
“He was restrained on the board until the gate was repaired and reinforced.”
The park’s staff helped return Dynamo to his enclosure and the Sanctuary was reopened by 2.30pm.
“Refunds were made when requested,” Flemming said, adding no one was injured.
Billabong Sanctuary is located in Nome ,about a 20-minute drive from Townsville.
Flemming said staff were debriefed and praised for working fast to secure the crocodile.
A number of people who were at the park at the time said on the Facebook post the incident was managed well.
“My first visit to billabong was eventful,” said one person.
“Good call being open and transparent and letting the public know their safety is your priority. You couldn’t have handled this situation better,” another person commented.
Dynamo was caught by the Department of Environment and Heritage in September 2021 at Althaus Creek, near Saunders beach.
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