Tourist stunned by Aussies swimming in ‘crocodile infested’ lake

It’s no secret crocodiles have the ability to inflict significant injury on those who get too close, and the warning signs scattered around every creek and river in the northeast of the country drives home this point.

So it’s understandable why one tourist couldn’t quite understand why she spotted people swimming, and even snorkeling, in a lake which was supposedly “infested” by the animals.

The tourist found five people, including two children, swimming in Lake Eacham, Queensland near a sign saying ‘stay clear of the crocodile’. In the footage, she shows the warning sign goes into detail about a crocodile who is known to live in the area, before spanning over to the swimmers splashing around in the water.

“POV (point of view) you are watching people swim in a crocodile infested lake in Queensland,” she wrote online.

After the video was shared many Aussies informed the tourist the lake was actually a popular swimming spot, with the water only inhabited by one freshwater crocodile with the animal “practically a water puppy”.

The signs say the freshwater crocodile in the lake is shy and not life-threatening, but people are warned to take care if swimming and not to approach the animal. Lake Eacham in the Atherton Tablelands region is described on the Queensland Government Parks website as a clear, blue lake surrounded by cool rainforest, offering swimming, birdwatching, canoeing, picnic areas and shady walking tracks.

“Yeah it’s not croc infested at all. One fresh water croc that avoids all human interactions,” one woman said, with others confirming they had personally swam in the lake many times and “nothing” there can harm swimmers.

Freshwater crocodiles are considered shy and very few incidents involving people have been reported in the country. Crocodile expert Tommy Hayes told Yahoo News that “freshies” are indeed “virtually harmless” but urged against complacency in croc country, saying it can be lethal.

“You can have all the knowledge in the world and still be killed,” he said, speaking about the importance of respecting crocodiles in their natural habitat. “I think the signs are there more so people don’t torment the little freshie who lives in the lake…. (but there is) a massive sense of entitlement and it’s out of control in Queensland.”

He said there are many other spots in Queensland where some chose to push what’s considered safe, even if saltwater crocodiles are known to live there.

“They think they can do whatever, whenever and it’s everyone else’s fault when something happens with crocs,” he said. “The locals there know the area better than anyone, still it is crazy to enter any water in the territory.”

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