Whanganui cat rescue: Drone deployed in mission to free cat from poisonous palm tree

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Whanganui cat rescue: Drone deployed in mission to free cat from poisonous palm tree


A drone was used to try and guide somebody towards the ‘The cat up a tree’. Video / Quinn Pedley NB There is no sound with the video.

A drone has been deployed as the rescue operation to free a cat stuck in a poisonous tree for over two weeks continues.

The black and white cat has been stuck in a nine-metre tall Phoenix palm tree on Heads Road.

“On Wednesday we had no sightings, so we gave the [cherry picker truck] back because we thought it had gone,” Neighbor Aroha Williams said.

“Then when I got home and sat on the deck with my coffee, guess what? The cat came out again.

“So hopefully it’s third time lucky.”

ARAN animal rescue NZ volunteer Jodi Hawira said she called 16-year-old Quinn Pedley who owns his own drone service company Quinn’s Aerial Services.

Pedley used his drone to spot where the cat was on the tree.

The cat can be clearly seen in the video.  Photo / Quinn PedleyThe cat can be clearly seen in the video. Photo / Quinn Pedley

“Then the idea is if we get the cherry picker up and the cat starts going the other way, we will put the drones up there and try to scare it back to the cherry picker,” Pedley said.

The drone captured multiple sightings of the cat but rescuers still couldn’t catch it.

The group are now trying to trap the cat in a cage trap.

Former SPCA rescue manager Blair Hillyard said the best way to catch the cat was to get a cat cage and use the cherry picker to secure the cage to the tree.

“Put lots of smelly wet food/fish etc and water inside it,” Hillyard said.

“The cat will eventually enter the cage and get trapped. Then use the truck to bring it back down.”

The group has now placed the cage in the tree.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, this is definitely my biggest rescue,” Hawira said.

“Hire It has been really amazing, they’re not charging us anything for the truck.”

Monkey Business Tree Care arborist Eddie White also volunteered to try to catch the cat.

Hire It Limited rented out a cherry picker to rescue the cat for free to the group trying to rescue the cat.  Photo / Aroha WilliamsHire It Limited rented out a cherry picker to rescue the cat for free to the group trying to rescue the cat. Photo / Aroha Williams

“I went up in the truck, made ‘here-kitty-kitty’ noises and put some food on one of the palm fronds for it and we waited for it but couldn’t see it,” White said.

He said cats getting stuck in trees happened more than people would think.

“I haven’t done a cat rescue yet, but I never thought the first cat rescue I would attend would be in a palm tree.

“Phoenix palms are everywhere. I’ve been spiked before and it’s bloody horrible.”

Quinn's Aerial Services drone operator Quinn Pedley used his drones to sight the cat.  Photo / Bevan ConleyQuinn’s Aerial Services drone operator Quinn Pedley used his drones to sight the cat. Photo / Bevan Conley

Williams said while her partner was up the tree on Wednesday a fern frond went straight through his shoe and a piece got stuck in his foot.

“So we’re just keeping an eye on it and trying to squeeze it out.”

Margaret Morris lives on the property next to the palm, which is where the cherry picker has been parked.

“The tree the cat is stuck in is actually the neighbor’s, but you can only get to it from my property. I didn’t ask for a truck or animal control,” Morris said.

“The neighbor said I should start charging for people to come onto my property, and I need to stop giving them free beers.”

She said the situation made her decide to have a phoenix palm that was on her property cut down.



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2022-09-15 03:54:42

www.nzherald.co.nz