One morning at 8.30a.m. A road gang travelled very slowly along Glen Esk Road (at the Conara Main Road end) whilst working on the road edges, meticulously checking and repairing the road verge edges. The day was the first of August 2006, they were travelling slowly, sometimes walking and sometimes riding in the truck, the road gang did not see a dead European Red fox that was claimed by the FFTF to have been killed by a vehicle sometime earlier at that very location. The still warm, finger up its bum, real deal, freshly killed fox. Well after five modifications to the DPIWE’s site they have finally conceded it was killed somewhere else. It is always wise to keep hard copies of ever changing reports, I have found.
Anyway back to Porkies Maximus; three young agricultural contractors travelling along that section of road that same morning, Michael Beams, Jason Powe and Joshua Leeson rang the FFTF headquarters in Launceston and spoke to the FFTF’s Craig Bester and said they had discovered what appeared to be a road killed Red fox On Glen Esk Road; someone would wait until an officer from the FFTF could come to that exact location. As luck or whatever would have it several members of the FFTF were only some minutes (10 -15 minutes) away on the main road in the process of delivering a field stripped FFTF vehicle back to Launceston HQ as two of the FFTF branches were closing that very day. What becomes interesting is all three agricultural workers including Joshua Leeson were interviewed and statements were taken roadside that very morning by the FFTF members and none of them said anything then and there that morning about running over a live or even dead fox.
However on the third of August a DPIPWE press release claimed, “A member of the public has identified himself as the driver who hit the fox on Glen Esk Rd Tuesday morning.”
“The man was the driver of the vehicle and his activity is known to have put him in the area at the time”. “Mr. Davies said that the driver had insisted we do not publicly identify him because he does not wish to become the subject of speculation.”
“He was driving east on Glen Esk Road. The fox emerged from the left-hand side of the road, ran across the path of the vehicle and was struck by a tyre.”
“He stopped to find what he had hit and saw it was a fox. He then continued on his way”... Well my oh my! Problem is Josh Leeson was the anonymous driver who ‘phoned the DPIWE it now seems, he is still as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof and wishes he had not been involved. I am very reliably informed by a Police Officer that Joshua made a phone call to the DPIWE the next day under threatening instructions.We are aware who issued the instructions. Joshua denies saying anything like the text of the press release. They should have left the fox where it was originally found and not caused themselves all this worry. Later independent pathologists confirmed that this fox was killed much earlier than claimed and was not killed at the claimed original location…Glen Esk Road. Another independent expert has claimed to me that this fox was not living in Tasmania and all its body signs show it to be a high country fox with it’s origins more likely Alpine Victoria or the A.C.T.
However this “Glen Esk Road” fox is still one of the anchor points used as hard evidence to justify the FFTF/FEP/ISB ongoing 1080 baiting program.