'Living Dinosaur'—Aggressive 14ft Crocodile Captured at Residential Beach

Authorities have removed a "problem crocodile" from Newell Beach, just north of Port Douglas, a town in the Australian state of Queensland.

The male crocodile, measuring around 14.7 feet (4.5 meters) long, was estimated to be over 50 years old, according Matt Brien from Queensland's Department of Environment and Science (DES).

"It's a living dinosaur, really," Brien told Australia's ABC News. "Its size meant that it posed quite a serious risk to public safety—they are a serious predator of many things and humans fit into that category.

"Their size and the whole way that they are, they are dinosaurs and they're not to be treated lightly," he added.

Crocodiles have existed for 200 million years and are a "descendant from the dinosaur age," Australia's Northern Territory government website explains.

The latest reptile sighted was captured by the DES on Tuesday after being declared "problem crocodile" in mid-May. At the time, the DES received reports of "a large crocodile behaving in an aggressive manner" around Newell Beach, Cooya Beach and in the mouth of the Mossman River, according to a DES statement issued Thursday.

Brien explained: "It was approaching boats and people and dogs without any fear, which automatically tells us that it has been fed."

According to one sighting, the crocodile was reported to be "swimming around haphazardly with a crab pot stuck on its head," the DES said.

Brien noted: "The fact that an animal that large was scavenging on bait in a crab pot may suggest it was coming to the end stage of its dominance in that area and is trying to get an easy feed."

The crocodile is currently being held at a secure DES wildlife facility in Cairns in northern Queensland.

The DES added: "Due to its size, (greater than 4m [around 13.1 feet]) the crocodile must be dealt with as an icon crocodile under Queensland's conservation laws."

It may only be placed with a registered crocodile farm or zoo that "agrees to use it for educational purposes about crocodile conservation," the DES explained.

The Port Douglas-Mossman area is "known croc country" and "you are responsible for your own safety in croc country," the DES warns.

Croc country begins at the Boyne River south of Gladstone, extending north, up the east coast and across Far North Queensland. The reptiles can also sometimes be spotted outside of that area.

"Just because you can't see a crocodile, it doesn't mean there is not one close by. Crocodiles can stay underwater for more than an hour. Even large crocodiles can be completely concealed in knee-deep water," the DES warns.

A crocodile at Wild Life Sydney Zoo.
A crocodile at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo in Australia, pictured in December 2017. Authorities in Queensland have removed a large "problem crocodile" from Newell Beach, just north of Port Douglas, on Tuesday. James D. Morgan/Getty Images