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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Feral pig collision on the highway at Palm Cove highlights pest concerns

    Cairns Regional Council has confirmed there's been an increase in reports of feral pigs in Palm Cove, validating concerns from a female motorist, who hit a pig on the Captain Cook Highway last night.

    Chantelle Joseph, a Palm Cove resident, was driving home from Cairns when the incident occurred between Foley Road and Veivers Road.

    She told Tropic Now she didn’t see the pig until her car was on top of it.

    “This pig just ran out in the front of the car and because it was so quick I thought it would be a big dog,” she said.

    “I swerved but I knew I would hit it with the right hand side of the car.

    “The impact was that hard I thought I’d slammed into a cow or something.”

    Ms Joseph was uninjured but her car was damaged by the pig, which she described as a very large female.

    “The major damage to the car is above my tyre so she reached that high.

    “There’s front end damage, and the driver side door is all damaged plus there’s pig carnage all down the side of my car.”

    “I’m really glad it wasn’t front on, it could have gone through windscreen.”

    The vehicle was insured and a tow truck has been organised to take it to a repairer.

    However, Ms Joseph is warning other drivers in the area to be on alert, after several sightings of feral pigs in the area.

    “We’ve been seeing them a lot lately.

    “Especially when you go up Foley Road, into Island View Estate, there’s been a few instances where the pigs have just ruined the sides of the roads and people’s gardens.

    “They’re like little rotavators on legs, you know,” she said.

    According to social media Ms Joseph is not the only one who has seen pigs on the highway.

    Blaze Mason said he hit two piglets in the same spot in February.

    “We were lucky not to hit the big ones with them,” he wrote.

    Sam Smith said there appears to be a herd in the area.

    “There is an entire family of pigs living between Veivers Road and Argentia Boulevard.

    “My husband and I ran into at least 15 of them one morning.”

    Cairns Regional Council told Tropic Now there has been an increase in reports of pig sightings, which it puts down to the recent hot, dry weather.

    "It’s not uncommon for pigs to enter urban areas in times of extreme weather," a spokesperson said.

    "Conditions have likely led to natural water and food sources becoming more scarce, resulting in the animals venturing further afield."

    The Council has responded by increasing its trapping activities in the area.

    "Targeted trapping occurs in areas that may be visited by family groups and is generally quite effective," she said.

    "Pig sightings can be reported to assist Council with the tracking of pig family groups."

    She said the Council is only responsible for managing the pests on its own land, but can assist private landholders by providing traps, which must be inspected at least once a day.