News

Barbed wire fence proves fatal for flying foxes

INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

THE slow and painful death of protected little red flying foxes, caught in a barbed wire fence at Innes Park, has distressed an Elliott Heads wildlife carer.

Queensland Wildlife Carers and Volunteers Association president Christine Wynne said she was alerted to the flying foxes after her daughter saw a Facebook post about 10.30pm Tuesday.

Ms Wynne said she's disappointed no one contacted her earlier.

Able to save five animals by detangling them from the fence Wednesday morning, Ms Wynne also removed two dead ones and said three more appeared to have struggled off the fence themselves but died on the ground below.

"To hang there for days and just die of dehydration - and it would take a few days - it's just horrific," she said.

"And the pain they would be in, poor little things."

Stuck in the perimeter fence of the Boral Quarry on Back Windermere Rd, Ms Wynne guessed the flying foxes were attracted to water just behind the fence.

"I'd say what happening is these little guys are flying down to get the water and then flying up and getting stuck on the fence," she said.

"It (the fence) seems to be fairly new, its got cyclone wire and then three runs of barbed wire along the top."

Brought to tears by the creatures suffering, Ms Wynne said one of the flying foxes had wire through its mouth.

"It was just horrible. His wing was stuck up around his mouth as well," she said.

"But he's not looking real good so he still might not make it."

INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Ms Wynne said little red flying foxes don't live in one area permanently and travel thousands of kilometres looking for native gums and flowers which is why they play an important role in pollinating trees.

A specialist bat and flying fox carer for 15 years, Ms Wynne said barbed wire was a hazard for all sorts of native wildlife including birds and owls, gliders and kangaroos. She urged any resident or business to think about whether they really needed it.

Ms Wynne has approached Boral to ask them to consider removing the barbed wire.

A spokesman for Boral said the company took any incidents involving local fauna at its operations seriously.

"Despite this being a very rare event, Boral is taking immediate actions to minimise the chance of any further occurrences, which includes the installation of bunting/flagging on the fence line," he said.

"Boral has reported the incident to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) and has been in ongoing contact with the local wildlife carer who attended the site today (yesterday)."

An EHP spokeswoman confirmed there were no specific guidelines relating to fences and wildlife but landholders were encouraged to be mindful of the impacts fencing can have on native animals and to consider modifications which may reduce the risk of entanglement.

"For example, barbed wire fencing can be made more visible with the use of white or coloured fence tapes which flicker in the breeze. This also creates a noise as an additional warning to wildlife," she said.

Ms Wynne also urged anyone who saw a sick or injured native animal, especially a flying fox or bat, to call her immediately on 4159 6431.

INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
INJURED BATS: Wildlife carer Christine Wynne with one of the bats rescued from the fence at the Innes Park Quarry Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott


Beachgoers get real-time view from webcams

CHECK CONDITIONS: A new app lets you watch webcams at coastal spots like Kellys Beach.

New initiative lets you check beach before heading out

Tannum man, 31, killed in Bruce Hwy smash involving truck

Car Crash Bruce Hwy

Traffic is being diverted through Gladstone

Get ready before it's too late Queensland

FLOODWATER: The Bruce Highway was closed at the southern entrance to Childers, just south of Butchers Road.

Queenslanders have been devastated by past storms.

Local Partners

Trump's comments make light of statutory rape

Trevor Noah has gone to town on Donald Trump's sexism

Forza Horizon 3 review: Australia's never looked so good

Fancy racing a freight train?

Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Twelve Apostles feature

Tommy goes home in emotional Bachelorette episode

The Bachelorette contestant Tommy Saggus.

BRISBANE bachelor hopes show will give him more confidence.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual