10 May 2023

Two animals die because of one human's stupidity

| Matt Nicholls and Sarah Martin
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Alister MacPhee and his dog Molly, who died as a result of a croc attack at the Bloomfield boat ramp.

A DOG and a crocodile have lost their lives as a result of one man’s stupidity.

The warning signs were there but tourist Alister MacPhee chose to ignore them when he stripped down to his budgie smugglers and stood knee-deep in the water at the Bloomfield boat ramp at Ayton on Wednesday last week.

The result? Predictable.

A 4.2-metre croc launched at Mr MacPhee, grabbing him by his leg, before his dog Molly intervened.

The croc let go and instead took a bite at the rottweiler.

Unfortunately, Molly didn’t make it and her owner had to be helicoptered to Cairns Hospital for treatment to lacerations and puncture marks on his leg.

Officers from the Department of Environment and Science responded quickly and shot the crocodile on Thursday night.

Making matters worse was that Mr MacPhee filmed himself getting attacked, a video that quickly went viral when leaked to news outlets that didn’t have to pay for the footage.

The dead croc on Friday morning.

In a statement issued through the hospital, Mr MacPhee paid tribute to his dog.

“While I am recovering from my injuries, I am asking people to please respect my privacy,” he said.

“I want to thank emergency services and staff at Cairns Hospital for looking after me.

“Especially Magic Molly (my dog) who was always by my side.

“I have, unfortunately, learnt the hard way.

“Everyone needs to be croc-wise in croc territory.”

Josh Paterson, the CEO of the Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation said people needed to trust the signs and warnings.

“On the river’s edge and in the sea in Far North Queensland we need to be croc-wise and that is pretty clear,” he told Cape York Weekly.

“And that message should go out to tourists and locals. This is a really stark reminder of how dangerous it can be to not abide by those croc-wise principles.

“Don’t go down to the water’s edge in the evening, particularly with your pets.

“Have your pets on leads and keep them away from the water’s edge.

“We all sometimes get a little bit complacent and I think the message is really for the locals as well, there’s no room for complacency. If he didn’t have the dog there I think the croc would have got him.”

Cook Shire mayor Peter Scott said he was disappointed in Mr MacPhee’s actions, saying he was the luckiest bloke alive.

“It’s tragic that he lost his dog and he’s very, very lucky,” he said on Monday.

“It’s unfortunate that an old croc was shot. 4.2 metres is a big old croc.

“But having said that if he was hanging around the ramp obviously he was a threat.

“The new pontoon (which will be built this year) where people can load and unload their boats will make it a little bit safer, but there’s nothing that can beat common sense and a careful wary eye.

“He’s done everything wrong. He’s the luckiest bloke alive.”

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