A video has emerged of what appears to be a dead, skinned crocodile floating in the Murray River.
Brent Lodge, who posted the video to his private Instagram, said he found the crocodile about 15 minutes downstream from the NSW border town of Barham on Sunday afternoon.
"I was fishing with my dad on Saturday and noticed all of the rubbish," Mr Lodge said. "I went back the next day and was cleaning up the rubbish when I saw a big white belly floating in the river.
"It was six foot long, a bit taller than me, and there was a hook going through its mouth. It really stunk so I reckon it had been there a while."
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Mr Lodge, who now lives on the Gold Coast, grew up in Barham and regularly visits family and friends there. He said he left the crocodile on the bank of the river because the smell was so strong.
"You can see it in the video, but I when I picked it up I had to stop from retching because it smelt so bad," he said. "I didn't want to carry it on my boat back home."
Mr Lodge said he contacted Vic Fisheries and Fisheries NSW about the find via social media after posting the video. He said he did not immediately contact police or any other authorities.
"I just didn't think to," Mr Lodge said. "Everyone thinks it's a hoax but I'm not joking around. That's why I took a video because I knew nobody would believe me.
"Some people think because of my personality, I like to mess around a bit, that I'm lying but I'm not. Everyone can say what they want but I was doing the right thing, cleaning up rubbish, when I found it.
"I didn't think it was going to go this far."
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the Victorian Fisheries Authority have been contacted for comment.
NSW Fisheries said they were investigating whether a report has been made.
Freshwater and salt water crocodiles are protected species under Australian law. The illegal taking of a crocodile could warrant a penalty of more than $28,000 in some states.
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