A number of dog lovers were on edge recently following the emergence of a very confronting sign at a popular off-leash park.
After a pooch was hurt while swimming in a flooded drain last Saturday, dog owners were shocked to see a crocodile warning sign pop up in the Irene Street park in Mooroobool, situated in suburban Cairns.
The sign was introduced as a precaution, with no actual sightings of the fearsome reptiles.
'Dogs should be (kept) on a lead in a known crocodile habitat,' a spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Science said.
Australian saltwater crocodiles (pictured above) are fearsome creatures and are feared by many
The off-leash dog park in Mooroobool, in suburban Cairns (pictured above) now features a sign stating owners should be aware of crocodiles - despite no sightings of the feared reptiles
'Members of the public are responsible for the safety of their dogs.'
The development comes a week after a three-metre crocodile was spotted in the Tinaroo Falls Dam on the Atherton Tablelands - roughly 90 minutes south of the Cairns CBD.
The newly erected croc sign in Mooroobool is adjacent to the Irene St flood plain – a tributary system that feeds into Chinaman Creek downstream and eventually leads out to Trinity Inlet, according to the Cairns Post.
Recent Department of Environment and Science records revealed crocodile tracks were confirmed in the precinct - but authorities were not encouraged to take any further action.
Cairns Deputy Mayor Terry James was dumbfounded how the DES reached that conclusion.
'The last thing we want is for it to take a child being taken in the middle of suburbia,' he said.
'We also don’t want someone to get bitten while trying to rescue their dog either.'
Dog owners have been advised they are responsible for the safety of their dogs in a off-leash area in a popular part of Cairns (stock image)