AN as-yet unidentified mystery “critter” has literally broken out of a sturdy steel mesh trap set to catch predators on Bruce Hammet’s property in Kerrs Road south of Fish Creek.
Whatever was lured into the trap by the enticing aroma of a rotting dead bird placed inside as bait clearly mustn’t have liked it very much once the door snapped shut.
Somehow the animal managed to wrench one section of mesh away from the trap’s end plate, then bend it back and make a hole big enough to escape through.
“I’m beginning to be convinced that it was a fox I caught,” Bruce said.
“At first I thought it might have been a wild dog, or something like that … “ he conjectured, without actually mentioning the word “thylacine” or “panther”, and he chuckled out loud when The Mirror suggested that it might have been a bunyip!
“I think the cage will have to be examined microscopically to find out what the thing I caught was because there isn’t much of any hair or fur that you can see in the trap,” Bruce said.
“I bought the trap from BrownWigg at Meeniyan in July of last year with the intention of catching foxes, and I set it up beside the creek running through my property in a place where I can see it without going near it.
“The advice I got was to put a live chook in the trap, but I didn’t have the heart to do that!” he said.
“I’ve been baiting the trap with dead birds and I check it every day or two when it’s set.
“The mechanism on the trap door is very sensitive and efficient, and I know it will get anything that goes inside,” Bruce said.
“Lambing season hasn’t quite started around here as yet, and I think the foxes are maybe getting short of something to eat, which is why the dead blackbird I put in the trap this time may have been quite attractive.
“I saw the trap had been sprung and I couldn’t believe how big the hole in the mesh was when I went to have a look!” he said. “I’d had it and it had gone!
“The blokes at BrownWigg were surprised, too, when I took the trap back to show them the hole, and now it’s been returned to the manufacturer so they can see it as well.”
Bruce said these days he leases most of his property to neighbouring dairy farmers but he’s still keen on controlling pest animals.“I don’t like foxes and I don’t like wild cats,” he said, “and I am looking forward to hearing what the manufacturer thinks broke out of my trap.”