Cat­tle sur­vive Cy­clone Yasi

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

DE­STRUC­TION: Cat­tle­man Cameron Smart shows where his cat­tle be­came stranded among bar­ri­ers of fallen pine trees TULLY cat­tle­man Cameron Smart is count­ing his lucky stars he didn’t lose more cat­tle than he did when Cy­clone Yasi de­stroyed a pine plan­ta­tion on which he runs his herd.

He lost a hand­ful of cows un­der fallen trees, but is thank­ful that a lot more of the cat­tle that were stranded in ‘‘ stockyards’’ of crashed and in­ter­lock­ing plan­ta­tion pines didn’t die from thirst or star­va­tion.

He said for­tu­nately in the days and weeks im­me­di­ately af­ter the cy­clone there was al­most daily rain and that the stranded stock, ‘‘ locked in’’ be­hind bar­ri­ers of fallen pines, man­aged to get enough wa­ter to sur­vive from pud­dles.

‘‘ When the cy­clone started com­ing in the cat­tle in­stinc­tively went to the lee­ward end of the pad­dock, away from the wind,’’ Mr Smart said.

‘‘ They ended up get­ting cut off down there. There was so much tim­ber down and the way it fell it formed pens that just boxed them in.

‘‘ They’d been drink­ing wa­ter from rain pud­dles for seven days.

‘‘ I walked in with a chain­saw and I had to cut through the tim­ber so they could get out.’’

He said the plan­ta­tion was so dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate, the bal­ance of the herd had taken three weeks to walk back to graz­ing grounds less than 2km away in the same pad­dock.

He said in or­der to get the cat­tle out, he would feed them mo­lasses and grad­u­ally lure them into a spe­cially de­signed trap yard then take them to an­other prop­erty.

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