PORK IN THE ROAD
FRUSTRATION AT FERAL PIG NUISANCE AFTER HIGHWAY HAM-BUSH
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.
COLLISION: Chantelle Joseph was driving to Palm Cove on the Captain Cook Highway when she hit and killed a large feral pig.