Aussie MP blames ‘human stupidity’ for suspected fatal croc attack

© David Gray
An Australian MP has said “human stupidity” was to blame for a suspected fatal crocodile attack in Queensland that saw a woman dragged away by a crocodile while she was taking a nighttime dip, according to a friend who tried to rescue her.

Cindy Waldron from New South Wales entered waist high water with a friend at Thornton Beach in the north east of the country at 10:30 pm on Sunday, according to police

A witness heard the 46-year-old yelling, “A croc’s got me, a croc’s got me!” as she was dragged under the water.

Her friend attempted to pull the woman back to shore but failed, and subsequently raised the alarm. A rescue helicopter using thermal imaging combed the area but was unable to find the woman.

Police said the surviving woman was “very, very shaken and shocked” but had suffered no serious injuries.

The area of Thornton Beach where the woman and her friend entered the water is a popular place for crocodile sighting tours, and there were several signs posted in the vicinity warning swimmers about crocodiles, according to the Brisbane Courier Mail.

“You can’t legislate against human stupidity,” MP Warren Entsch told the Sydney Morning Herald, warning of a backlash against crocodiles.

“You can only get there by ferry, and there are signs there saying watch out for the bloody crocodiles,” he said, adding that “if you go in swimming at 10 o’clock at night, you’re going to get consumed.”

Online reaction has included both support for his comments, as well as outraged posts accusing him of being insensitive in the wake of such a tragic event.

Saltwater crocodiles have been protected in Australia since 1971, and their current estimated population in the wild reaches 200,000.

Known for being territorial, the crocodiles attack and kill one to two people every year in Australia. 

Entsch stressed that the tragedy occurred inside a national park where visitors are warned about the dangers.

“Let’s not start vendettas,” he said. “It’s hard enough for some families to make a quid up there in the Daintree, showcasing crocs in their environment. People have to have some level of responsibility for their own actions.”

The last fatal saltwater crocodile in the Daintree River area before the current incident took place in 2009, when a five-year-old boy was taken from the shore while playing with his brother and dog.