Well before I start this story I want to let you know Satori’s property is sealed off to unauthorised vehicle traffic. The access road is blocked to vehicle access by a rather solid gate with the mama of all padlocks on it!
Oh and hidden cameras too!
Yesterday I went for a walk to Cooper Creek at the north of Ella Bay. The Satori property was a hive of activity and next to the esplanade track bobcats and excavators were busy digging the place up. I took a few action shots and made my way to the beach.
At 9 am whilst walking past Satori’s beach access (the only vehicle access to the beach) I noticed one set of quad bike tracks going north but none returning?
I thought this was unusual as this year Satori Chairman Rod Lamb had assured ABC journalist Maria Nguyen that he had banned all vehicle traffic on the beach, Full Stop! Interesting!
At 10.30 I came upon the hiding place for the Quad amongst bushes in Ella Bay National Park and lots of dog tracks. Of course you have to leave the beach and go bush to get around the headland and by now I was getting pretty curious. I could see 2 sets of human tracks and I won’t pretend I could count the dog tracks as my skills at tracking aren’t that great!
Got to admit it wasn’t hard to see where they had travelled as their machete left a good track to follow! Had a laugh to myself thinking of my old sergeant threatening to punch out any digger who so much as touched his machete when we were on patrol all those years ago!
On getting to the other side of the headland and back onto the beach I took some pics of the poor beat up coconut there that only just clings to life.
I continued north towards Coopers Creek and the mystery was revealed the two pig hunters and 4 dogs approached and we had a bit if beachside chat. Nice enough blokes who were obviously tired after a big hunt.
I have to admit I like dogs and they were all in good condition. The wolfhound cross was quite handsome and they were all suited up in pig hunting chest armour. One dog even appeared to have a satellite tracking collar which made me think they looked pretty professional as those things aren’t cheap!
Anyway they had had no luck as there was no fresh water in the swamps and therefore no pigs. They went south and I went north.
I continued on to Coopers Creek and crossed the same headland on the way back. On the southward journey the tracks stood out like railway lines and part of me was disappointed thinking about the destructive nature of beach driving.
At about 3 pm I got back to Satori’s beach access track which leads up to the manager’s house and there were the returning quad bike tracks.
All up I must admit that I felt pretty disappointed. As the only people with vehicular access to the beach are Satori’s staff and contractors I was curious to know if and if so why Satori are allowing people to hunt with dogs in known cassowary habitat?
As a courtesy I contacted Adrian Hogg who works for Satori via text and today he called me on the phone. He stated that he knew nothing about it and that the hunters were not Satori employees.
He could see how it looked from my side of the fence. Seeing hunters on a quad bike travelling from Satori’s property, hunting and then returning to Satori’s property tended to make me think that if these hunters aren’t employed by Satori then perhaps they were at the least sanctioned??
Adrian acknowledged that the only access was via the locked gates and stated he did not know how this could happen and was mystified. He assured me that he would be looking into it and I believe he will. Adrian stated that he personally did not condone pig hunting with dogs in cassowary habitat. My thanks to Adrian for looking into it and I shall take him at his word.
All up it was an interesting day.
Believe it or not my original purpose for this walk was to survey the amount of balloons that wash up on Ella Bay. At least this had a clear result!
Big congratulations to Barter Card and Toyota . . . Ella Bay’s joint polluters of the week!!