Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Endangered Chook Killer at Large

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Endangered Chook Killer at Large

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard tim.howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

LOCK up your chooks.

That's the message from the National Parks and Wildlife Service following the discovery of a female spotted tail quoll raiding a hen house in the Coutts Crossing area.

Lucinda Wass and her father, Keith, were amazed to discover a mature female quoll, probably carrying a few joeys in her pouch, up a tree above their chook pen yesterday at 6am.

It solved a puzzle for the family, who wondered what had been whittling down their flock for the past few months.

"We thought it might have been a goanna, although it seemed unlikely because the birds had been ripped up a bit," he said.

Six months ago the family had about 30 birds, including a pair of turkeys in the yard. Now they have eight.

"We've been losing one or two a week over that period, but in the last few days we've been losing one a night," Keith said.

National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Hugh McNee said the pattern of attacks fitted in with the quoll breeding cycle. …

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