Posted February 11, 2018 05:53:52 The first time anyone has ever heard the words “death to crocodiles” in a local community is a story told to them by a group of young men from the remote coastal community of Wirral.
The men are the owners of a large number of hunting vessels, which travel the waters of Wirtha.
“We’ve been out to hunt all over the north and the south of Victoria for years,” said Mike Poulton, who started spearfishing at the age of 12.
“Every now and then we’ll be out in the open and we’ll hear ‘a crocodile’s been spotted’.”
The phrase has been heard many times since the area was settled in the 19th century, but the Wirrals have been relatively untouched for most of the century, except for occasional incidents when people ventured off the coast and into the river.
“People would often say ‘a croc is near’, but if it was close we’d just shoot it,” Mr Poulston said.
“The croc has got a very good sense of smell and can smell people.”
It’s a very tough predator.
“The Wirrors have been hunting in the area for generations, and their boat, the Wirthy, was used by the Victorian government to catch wild crocodiles in the 1960s and 1970s.”
There were three crocs that we caught in those years,” Mr Fogg said.
Mr Fogg and his wife have lived in the Wirta area for nearly half a century.”
They were all wild, they were pretty big, and we’d catch them all,” he said.
In 2009, a group from the community came to the Wierys to take a boatload of crocodiles off the Wircheys to be sold to local restaurants.”
I can’t remember if we were getting close to it or not, but we’d shoot the crocodiles and put them on the menu,” Mr D’Aloisio said.
Since the crocodile incident, Mr D.C. has been out hunting and is currently finishing up his third hunt.”
My wife’s been telling me about the first crocodile, but it was a long way out,” he laughed.”
That was pretty close.
“But now, you can see the crocodilians in the river, so it’s good.”