'Idiots of the century' - Aussie Mayor hits out at men swimming in crocodile trap

'Idiots of the century' - Aussie Mayor hits out at men swimming in crocodile trap
Photo credit: Facebook

Photos of a group of men swimming around and climbing into a crocodile trap in North Queensland have surfaced on social media, prompting a backlash from users.

Crocodile traps are cages designed to capture dangerous crocodiles. The trap is designed to lure crocodiles in with bait and then close behind them, trapping the reptile. 

The traps are usually only deployed where a nuisance crocodile needs to be captured.

Pictures show the men playing on the trap in a marina in Port Douglas, near where a 4.3 meter crocodile is believed to have attacked and killed 79-year-old dementia sufferer Anne Cameron two weeks ago.

The possible sudden appearance of a large and dangerous crocodile does not appear to worry them as they clamber on top of the cage and climb inside.

"I was absolutely gobsmacked - this is incredibly stupid and dangerous behaviour. I'm wondering if these fellows are vying for the idiots of the year award or the idiots of the century award," Douglas Shire Mayor Julie Leu told ABC Radio Australia. 

Queensland's Environment Minister, Steven Miles, also expressed disapproval of the group's actions.

"Srsly? The meat we put in these traps is bait. For crocodiles. Don't swim in them! It's stupid and illegal," he tweeted.

Tampering with crocodile traps is illegal in Queensland and if caught the men could be fined up to AU$15,000 (NZ$16,908) each.