PORK IN THE ROAD

FRUS­TRA­TION AT FERAL PIG NUI­SANCE AFTER HIGH­WAY HAM-BUSH

The Cairns Post - - FRONT PAGE - PETER CAR­RUTHERS peter.car­[email protected]

A PALM COVE woman got the fright of her life when her small car slammed into a 70kg feral pig near the tourist des­ti­na­tion.

The late-night crash on the Cap­tain Cook High­way left real es­tate worker Chantelle Joseph shaken, with panel dam­age to her car’s front and door.

She said the wild pig “seem­ingly ap­peared out of nowhere” just after the Veivers Road turnoff at 10.30pm on Wed­nes­day.

“I was kind of ex­pect­ing to have to take a dog to the vet but it felt like I had hit a cow, it was that heavy,” she said. “But then I was like ‘nah that’s a boar’, it was pretty full on.”

Feral pig num­bers have out­paced at­tempts by Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil to con­trol the nui­sance. With 1080 bait­ing and shoot­ing off the ta­ble, the coun­cil re­lies on traps which also catch na­tive wildlife.

Divi­sion 9 coun­cil­lor Brett Olds said the coun­cil was “do­ing ev­ery­thing (they) can … but they just keep breed­ing up”.

“We are mak­ing a bit of a dent but these things keep on com­ing,” he said.

“I don’t know what the so­lu­tion is and I don’t know what we can do more that we are not al­ready do­ing,” Cr Olds said.

He said the feral pig pop­u­la­tion around Palm Cove “comes and goes in waves” and re­cent crit­i­cism about wal­la­bies be­ing caught in pig traps made the erad­i­ca­tion prob­lem­atic.

“We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Some wal­la­bies just re­cently got caught in the pig trap at Palm Cove … and peo­ple went nuts,” he said.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil told the Cairns Post feral pig num­bers “do not ap­pear to have changed sig­nif­i­cantly from year to year”.

“Trap­ping is car­ried out strate­gi­cally and pigs are cap­tured reg­u­larly through this method,” the spokes­woman said.

Cr Olds said there were strict reg­u­la­tions sur­round­ing the use of 1080 baits and up to 100 pigs had been trapped this year.

He said fears of spread­ing foot and mouth dis­ease meant meat can­not be laced with 1080 like it is in other parts of Queens­land un­less it is en­closed in a bait which the an­i­mal can­not eat.

Ms Joseph, who crashed into the an­i­mal near the Novo­tel Palm Cove Re­sort, said she had no­ticed an in­crease in wild pig ac­tiv­ity in the area.

“Hope­fully the coun­cil gets on top of the pig prob­lem out here,” she said.

Main pic­ture: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

COL­LI­SION: Chantelle Joseph was driv­ing to Palm Cove on the Cap­tain Cook High­way when she hit and killed a large feral pig.

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