Australia

Palm Cove: Tarlia Merau filmed herself taking a dip in a tropical beach idyll, but sparked protests from savvy locals for one very good reason

A woman who filmed herself swimming at a notorious crocodile-infested beach has been criticised by Australians for her reckless act of stupidity.

Tarlia Merau uploaded a clip to TikTok last week of herself entering the water at Palm Cove Beach, near Cairns, in Far North Queensland.

Ms Merau said she ignored the warning signs for crocodiles because she “couldn’t resist” taking a dip on the beach.

“An old couple walked past me and said, ‘You’re brave,’” she said.

But Ms Merau admitted in the video that while she had no problem swimming in oceans where sharks exist, she did not want to swim with crocodiles.

Social media users condemned the reckless swimming in comments on the video.

“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes,” someone wrote.

“There are so many other beaches to swim at and you choose to swim at one in Cairns which is average not to mention the crocodile risk,” someone else wrote.

“That really takes the risk to a new level,” added a third.

Tarlia Merau (pictured) uploaded a video to TikTok last week showing her entering the water at Palm Cove Beach near Cairns, North Queensland

Tarlia Merau (pictured) uploaded a video to TikTok last week of herself entering the water at Palm Cove Beach near Cairns, North Queensland

Ms. Merau said in the video that she is trying to get used to the beach and that she really wants to go swimming.

“The water is so warm here, how could I not?” she said.

Palm Cove Beach is located in ‘Croc Country’, areas designated as crocodile habitat.

These areas extend from the Boyne River at Gladstone to the far north and far west of Queensland.

It also extends into parts of the Northern Territory.

Visitors to beaches and waterways in Far North Queensland are being urged to exercise crocodile awareness to reduce the risk of harm, and also to heed crocodile warning signs.

In September 2020, a crocodile measuring almost three metres long ate a dog on the popular city beach, raising concerns among locals.

Officials from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DESI) have launched an investigation following the incident.

Palm Cove Beach is located in 'Croc Country', which are areas designated as crocodile habitat (stock image)

Palm Cove Beach is located in ‘Croc Country’, an area designated as a habitat for crocodiles (stock image)

Warning signs were immediately placed on the shores of the ocean and a crocodile trap still stands there.

Crocodiles can be found in multiple tourist locations in Australia, including oceans, beaches, rivers, creeks and waterholes.

They are masters of hiding and can stay underwater for over an hour. The most fearsome predators are most active at night, at dawn and dusk.

Tips to stay safe from crocodiles

Keep five meters away from the water’s edge

Crocodiles hunt their prey at the edge of waterways.

Visitors who venture close to the water’s edge are advised to place a sturdy object, such as a tree or large rock, between themselves and the water’s edge.

Throw away food and food scraps

Crocodiles are attracted to discarded food.

Food, fish scraps and bait should always be disposed of responsibly to avoid attracting animals to shore.

Keep all pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge.

Pets should not be allowed near the water’s edge as they are easy targets for crocodiles.

Do not use small watercraft such as kayaks when sailing in the water

Vessels such as kayaks and paddleboards do not provide protection for visitors entering the water.

Crocodiles can easily knock over small ships like this.

Stay away from crocodile traps

These traps are designed to attract crocodiles, so people should keep their distance.

Anyone who intentionally interferes with the operation of these traps could be fined more than $15,000.

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