Wallabies injured after ‘wrong’ bait used in trap
CAIRNS Regional Council has been accused of using the "wrong" type of bait in a feral pig trap after two wallabies were accidentally captured on the northern beaches.
Wildlife carers are appalled that two agile wallabies were found trapped inside a council cage designed for trapping pigs on property between Clifton Beach and Palm Cove on October 3.
A local carer, who did not want to be named, claimed it was the second time the incident had occurred, with both wallabies suffering serious injuries while inside the trap.
"The male had lost his eye, had a broken nose and couldn't even stand," they said.
"He had to be put down.
"The female escaped the cage when it was opened and ran away, but she had obvious injuries to her face."
The carer claimed the trap had been baited with sweet potato, banana and molasses.
"It's no wonder the wallabies were enticed into the cage, as these are some of their favourite foods," they said.
The incident was reported to the RSPCA.
Division 9 Councillor Brett Olds said the council was forced by the Department of Environment and Science to use fruit in feral pig traps.
"That's all we can use in there, so we use banana and other fruits from time to time," he said.
"We should be using meat, because pigs will pretty much eat anything, and that way, you wouldn't get any unintended victims like wallabies in there, because wallabies like the fruit."
Cr Olds said the trap in question was removed from the property last week within an hour of the wallabies being reported to council.
He believed, however, the marsupials became injured inside the trap after being riled up, possibly by dogs.
"What we suspect happened - and this is because we've had wallabies caught before across the region, and it's very rare - what I've been told is, if officers get there and find a wallaby, they open the trap up and let the animal go," he said.
"The reason these two were bashing themselves to death was there would have been dogs off-leash, and they would have seen them, and stirred them up and freaked them up."