Costs mount as 'Bambi' runs wild

BABY Bambi syndrome, affecting some rural residents in the Tinbeerwah area, is helping create hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to land producers as feral deer run amok.

Noosa News has spoken to a property owner who says he is at his wits end trying to deal with these pests that, even he grudgingly admits, are "beautiful to watch".

The deer are believed to be former farmed deer set loose in the area, and the resident said they were running out of control and ruining his land values.

He asked not to be named, but said this week even normal fencing could not stand up to the creatures with the doe eyes that trample fields and strip vegetation.

The landholder said the deer numbered at least 60.

"Over the past five years they have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage," he said.

"Control fencing is expensive and people don't like rifles, which you can't use in blocks of less than 40ha anyway.

"These deer are not stopped by cattle fences. I've seen them just jump straight over them from a standing start."

And while he said Sunshine Coast Council animal control officers were doing everything in their power to help tackle the problem, others in the area were not helping.

Some locals are suspected of feeding the animals - something councillor Tony Wellington, a Tinbeerwah resident, would like to put a stop to.

"Unfortunately, there are some land owners who fail to recognise the damage that these animals cause," Cr Wellington said. "I know of residents in the area that have actively encouraged the deer.

"But feral deer are a genuine threat to both farmers and the environment."

The councillor said damage to crops, the spread of exotic weeds and destruction of fences were among the impacts.

"Creeks can become degraded and suffer erosion where deer have been active," Cr Wellington said. "Deer are also a traffic hazard. Just a couple of weeks ago I came across an accident on the Cooroy-Noosa Rd where a car had hit a deer at night. "

He said council pest management staff were focussing on the deer problem around Tinbeerwah.

To notify them, phone council on 5475 7272 or via email

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