Spotted -Tail Quoll Trapped in Merriwa

Jan 19th 2023

I got a call from Merriwa Vet  to say MOP had set fox traps on his property because chooks and ducks were being preyed on. The traps he used were antiquated and made illegal some years ago. A very cruel way of trapping. The teeth on these traps clamp down on the foot of the animal or in the case of a goanna onto the body. This man has lived in Merriwa all his life and is well known in the community. His daughter was once the local vet! She was a very nice woman. Her passion was with horses although she would assist with wildlife when she could. Her knowledge of treatment for wildlife was limited but she was able to advise and supply us with various medications as required. The farmer using the traps was in his 90s and did as his father did before him!!  He had trapped an endangered  Spotted-tail Quoll. He did realise what it was and had the decency to call the local vet and get the animal in there. One front and one back foot  got caught in trap. The animal must have been in total shock as how he managed to release the trap off his legs single handed is amazing. Spotted- tails Quolls are an endangered species. He could have put meat bait into a possum trap and caught the animal without inflicting the pain and suffering. Spotted-tailed Quolls  are the largest of all the Australian quolls and the only mammals that that have a spotted tail. There are  three other Australian quolls but none with a spotted tail, spots on the body only. Spotted -tail Quoll  are carnivorous and eat small to medium sized mammals and birds. Females grow up to 4kilo but males up to 7kilo.

Spotted -Tail Quoll


Many years ago, Larry & I went to Tasmania. We had not started rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and weren’t familiar with many species. We went outside one cold morning and saw this creature on top of the wood pile. We offered some fruit and bread only to be scorned .We did see the size and shape of the teeth so offered bacon  which was taken and enjoyed…yum yum. We then identified it as a Quoll. I can’t remember which particular one it was, but we were enthralled at seeing it.

We went into Merriwa town and collected the poor trapped creature from the vet. I made some ph calls after bringing him home to find out our best course of action. Fortunately, I was able to get hold of Ted who advised us to give some Metacam pain meds. Which we did by squirting into his mouth with a syringe. We had chicken necks so put a couple of those into his cage. The next day along with Ted & Jenny we drove to Dubbo Western plains zoo with “Quollie”. They took him into care where he remained until early March. His wounds were treated by professionals with the proper facilities to enable this care.  1 wound was to the bone, necrotic tissue was removed but some was ligament and muscle so final movement depended on healing. Fortunately ,he made a complete recovery and was able to be released.

Ted & Jenny had a contact in Local Landcare  with a large parcel of land for Conservation and arranged for the release there. He was released at  “Spring Hills” Merriwa.

Thanks to David & Maria Cameron for allowing this.