Fox shock in chicken coop
AN EAST Bundaberg woman got an early morning shock last Saturday morning when she found a fox in her chicken coop mauling one of her pets.
Laurene Wolff said she got up early because she wasn't sleeping very well, and about 5.45am heard her chickens making a "terrible racket".
"I opened the back door and all the chooks were running up the back yard to meet me," she said.
"I thought there might be a carpet snake in their coop."
But instead Miss Wolff went into the coop and saw a fox mauling one of her chickens.
The fox jumped up against the chicken wire to try to escape, then fled underneath the wire.
"I got the shock of my life when I saw a fox," Miss Wolff said.
The fox fled to the now deserted Burnett Sawmill site, where Miss Wolff said it would have plenty of places to hide away.
"The mauled chook died, but if I hadn't gone there (the fox) would have got three or four more," Miss Wolff said.
She said people in the area with guinea pigs, puppies or kittens needed to be aware there were foxes about.
"My family have lived in this house for 68 years and we've never seen a fox here," Miss Wolff said.
She immediately reported the fox sighting to Bundaberg Regional Council, who lent her a cat trap and bought some chicken wings for her to use as bait.
The fox has not returned so far.
Council natural resources manager Nick Maclean said populations of foxes, feral pigs and wild dogs had grown in recent years.
"I think it's to do with all the rain we've had," he said.
"There's more vegetation around, which means the little animals they prey on have more to eat."
Mr Maclean said if the problem became worse, the council would look at setting up soft jaw traps and perhaps carry out a baiting program.
Mr Maclean said the council had been working closely with Queensland Parks and Wildlife officers in coastal areas to keep foxes in control.
- The fox was introduced to Australia in the 1860s and 1870s for recreational hunting.
- Foxes reached Queensland by 1907 and are now in most habitats.