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AA Saltwater crocodileA man in his 70's was bitten by a 1.2 metre saltwater crocodile on a far north Queensland golf course owned by politician and billionaire, Clive Palmer.

John Lahiff was playing at the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course at Port Douglas on Monday afternoon when his ball slid into a water hazard at the 11th hole.  As he went to retrieve the ball, he failed to notice a saltwater crocodile sunbaking on the edge of the water. The croc took a bite out of the man’s right leg before returning to the water.

Mr Lahiff, who is an avid golfer and takes to the course three times a week, said he had seen crocodiles in the area before.  “I didn't see the croc sunbaking just on the edge of the water. I walked past it and then it got me on the way back and as soon as it grabbed me it took off into the water.

Wildlife officers are now trying to capture the crocodile to take it to to a zoo or wildlife farm, but Mr Lahiff said he did not agree with the decision. "It's partly my fault ... for disturbing it while it was sunbaking," he said. "I think he got more of a fright than me. He's alright." A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection spokesperson said it was very unusual behaviour for a smaller crocodile of this size to interact with people.

"Crocodiles are known to be in the area and access the golf course via creeks, and as such, warning signs are in place," the spokesperson said. "It is not the first time a crocodile has been removed from a golf course in the region."