Police warn tramper for retrieving 1080
BY HAYLEY GALE
A Takaka tramper who thought she was doing a public service by picking up 1080 poison pellets on the Heaphy Track nine days after an aerial drop of the toxin, has been issued with a warning by police and the Department of Conservation for carrying out an illegal activity.
Showing councillors the wet blue-green poison baits in a plastic bag during the public forum of a Tasman District Council meeting in Takaka yesterday, Hera Livingston said she had been “disgusted” to find 60 of the poison baits within the first four hours of walking the track from Brown Hut, in Golden Bay.
Asking the council to call a halt to aerial 1080 poisoning operations in the district, Ms Livingston said: “This is a health and safety issue. I spoke to a couple of French tourists on the track and they had no idea what the stuff was.”
Ms Livingston said she picked up 22 pellets but then stopped when she continued to find more.
She said she had not seen a warning sign at the beginning of the walk, although there were signs further up the track.
Observers at the 1080 drop near Lake Wanaka recently observed many baits on the tracks, with many tourists present that day. Carol Sawyer who was there that day described the following:
By 10.00 am two security officers had cleared the track to the Blue Pools. One had no gloves on, so she just kicked the baits to the side of the track. The other had gloves so he picked them up and tossed them into the undergrowth. It wasn’t much of an effort. One tourist told me he had seen two baits on the track and another showed me film of baits at the side of the track. SOURCE
Another observer said the bright coloured baits would have looked to a three year old, like a lolly scramble. How safe is this people?
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