Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stoned wallaby crop circles

By Damien Brown in the Courier Mail

June 25, 2009 12:01am


WALLABIES are breaking into Tasmania's poppy fields, eating the heads and getting high, causing them to run around in circles creating "crop circles".

The strange occurrence that was revealed in a State Government Budget Estimates hearing, has also solved what some growers say has spurred a campfire legend about mysterious crop circles that appear in northern Tasmania's poppy paddocks.

In true X-Files-style, Attorney-General Lara Giddings said the drugged out wallabies had been found hopping around in circles squashing the poppies, creating the formations – and hence solving the mystery.

"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Ms Gidding said.

"Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."

Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff said wildlife and livestock that ate the poppies were known to "act weird" including deer in the state's highlands and sheep.

"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," Mr Rockliff said.

"But as growers we try our best to try and stop this sort of consumption particularly by livestock due to concerns about the contamination of the meat.

"There is also the risk to our poppy stocks, so growers take this very seriously but there has been a steady increase in the number of wild animals and that is where we are having difficulty keeping them off our land."



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