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The great bat clash in Cairns as protesters try to stop flying fox removal in the CBD


ORPHAN: Wild Life Career Gaby Schierenbeck nurses a baby flying fox abandoned at the colony.

PROTESTERS clashed with police and council workers last night as officials moved in to relocate the Cairns CBD bat colony.

Two people were arrested as about 100 people gathered to watch the Cairns Regional Council prune the trees near the City Library about 5.30pm.

Several security guards were present, but they could not stop a man and a woman from chaining themselves to cherry pickers in an attempt to stop the colony being dispersed.

The duo are believed to be affiliated with environmental activist group Sea Shepherd.

People gather at Cairns CBD to watch and protest over bat removal.


ACTION: Protesters delay the start of tree pruning around the Cairns Library before two people were arrested after chaining themselves to machinery on the site. A man is arrested after being removed from the machine he was chained to with bolt cutters. Picture: Marc McCormack.

The man, whom police said had a warrant out for his arrest on another matter, was removed and placed in the back of a police paddy wagon.

Baby bat rescued in Cairns
 April 28th 2014 - CRC Federal Breach EPBC Act 1999
April 28th 2014 - CRC Federal Breach EPBC Act 1999
But council workers and police were forced to remove the entire basket of one cherry picker in order to walk the woman from the scene.

She insisted she had “done nothing wrong”, as a crowd of about 20 protesters applauded.

“There’s no trespass signs and the library is public land,” she stated.


Cairns City Council was due to start removing the trees that house the colony.

“My purpose is to save the trees and these beautiful, peaceful animals from these sneaky people,” the woman said.

A police spokesman confirmed she would likely be charged with trespass and obstructing police.

Lake St had to be closed as a Queensland Fire and Rescue crew attended the scene to cut the woman from the basket, but police reported she eventually released herself.

Wildlife carers present at the attempted trimming were also outraged after a juvenile bat fell from a tree.


Protesters delay the start of tree pruning around the Cairns Library before two people were arrested after chaining themselves to machinery on the site. Police and workers remove the basket complete with protester still chained to it. Picture: Marc McCormack.

Bat carer Gaby Schierenbeck said it had been abandoned by its mother during the pruning.

“If we didn’t find this baby she would starve, she’s dependent on her mother’s milk and would have no hope,” she said.

“Mum probably got a bit of a scare, she wouldn’t have taken off without good reason.”

Environmental activist Noel Castley-Wright was on the scene, and was adamant council had breached federal law.

“They can’t touch the tree if there are dependent young, and there’s clearly dependent young here,” he said.

“They’re scaring them and leaving babies … it’s animal cruelty.”

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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: The great bat clash in Cairns as protesters try to stop flying fox removal in the CBD
The great bat clash in Cairns as protesters try to stop flying fox removal in the CBD
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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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