Cairns, Australia: “The Problem with Flying Foxes”

We were walking through downtown Cairns, a coastal tourist-y town and Barrier Reef jumping-off point in northeastern Australia, when we heard this odd “shrieking” sound.  We realized it was coming from a group of large trees with metal barriers around them.  There was a strong, sweet fruity smell in the air.  Looking up at the trees, we realized what was making the sound…

Understandably, the proprietors (and guests) of a nearby hotel are frustrated with the situation.  It’s a complex situation.  But I’m not sure that cutting down the (majestic and beautiful in their own right) the massive trees in which they roost, and simply hoping they’ll find another place, is the best solution either.

Want to learn more about this issue?  The people working to save the animals have a Facebook page.  Or you can check out this article on Australia Wildlife Tourism.  Or this local news article.  Or this summary by an environmental advocacy group.  Or this photo essay on the protests which took place in May 2014.

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