Tasmania has a terrible crime problem in the rural area.
Some of the criminals are lone operators, and some travel in gangs.
They know what they want.
Whole fruit trees are stripped just as the peaches, plums or apples ripen.
The thieves often strike the night before fruit is due to be picked, as if they have access to inside information.
Nuts aren’t safe either, neither is dog and cat food.
Sometimes pets are spirited away by the more ruthless thieves.
The “criminals” are possums, quolls, devils, parrots, snakes and even birds of prey.
They’ll steal every edible thing from a property, if they can.
We have lost everything from a pet parrot, guinea pigs to trees full of fruit, and our almonds.
Tasmania has a lot of forest, and that’s where the criminals hide at night, coming out after dark to raid rural properties.
Even grass isn’t safe, with wallabies great and small moving through pastures like paddock piranha.
It’s a nice problem to have, sometimes, but it can be frustrating.
The solution is either war, or netting and fencing. Netting and fencing isn’t cheap so some farmers wage war.
That’s why national parks are the only way some animals, particularly predators, can be saved on the long term.
Some farmers won’t put up with the losses, although many try to live happily with the crims.
Keep in mind that the fruit and veg you buy at the supermarket comes from farms that were probably cleared of wildlife long ago.
Even things like canola oil comes from fields stripped of life. Those great seas of yellow you see on Australia’s mainland farms are canola plants, and not much else.
At least in Tassie, many of the forest homes are still in tact, and the crims have their hideouts.