Pigs target Daintree ice cream fruit crops
FERAL pigs with a snout for tropical fruit are wreaking havoc on the Daintree Ice Cream Company's crops.
Owner David Mainwaring said operating in the frozen food industry without access to the electricity grid was difficult enough without greedy porkers snaffling the ingredients.
Unfortunately, he has to contend with both.
"It costs us a lot of money," he said.
"All of the new young fruit trees that we put into the ground get dug up pretty much as soon as you put fertiliser around the tree.
"We farm organically up here. It's great for the land but organic fertiliser has more of a smell and pigs come to it.
"It's like we're punished for trying to farm responsibly."
The pigs eat low-hanging fruit, cause soil erosion and destroy native habitats in the World Heritage-listed area.
Based in Diwan, the small factory is connected to a orchard with crops including black sapote, jackfruit, passionfruit and jaboticaba, which to create uniquely tropical ice cream flavours.
The Douglas Shire Council operates two pig traps on the property, but it is not enough to keep the ballooning population in check.
Mr Mainwaring believed establishing a responsible guided bow-hunting tourism industry could be the answer, as opposed to letting hunters run rampant with dogs that target cassowaries and other native animals with impunity.