Residents of Ngukurr, a small Aboriginal community located about 331km southeast of Katherine in the Northern Territory, were given a surprise last week when a small freshwater crocodile was found hiding under the wheelchair access ramp at the local aged care facility.
The aged care centre, which provides meals and activities for elderly locals, was temporarily closed while rangers attempted to remove the unexpected visitor. According to council services manager, Scott Ingham, the facility quickly became the centre of attention for the entire community.
“Everyone thought it was very exciting. It was the talk of Ngukurr. Most were having a laugh about it. They thought it was quite exciting,” Ingham said to 7 News.
“I think it might have been one of the few times a crocodile has actually come within the community.”
Local rangers made several attempts to catch the crocodile while it was under the building, but were unsuccessful until they placed some chicken meat near an opening to entice the reptile out.
The crocodile eventually crawled out from underneath the facility and made its way back to nearby rivers, which had recently expanded due to heavy rain.
“There are nearby rivers. We had a lot of rain in the previous month, so those rivers got a lot larger than they already were. As they started to shrink, then the crocodiles were left behind,” Ingham explained further.
Fortunately, no one was harmed during the unexpected visit from the small crocodile.