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Environmentalists . . . Placegetters and members of the Timaru Boys' environmental group gathered after the prizegiving. At the back (from left) are Hamish Smith (15), Gus Mackenzie (16, first prize), ex-TBHS pupil and trainee Doc ranger Guy MacDonald, who presented the prizes, Niko Evans (17) and Josh Earnshaw (16). At the front (from left) are Lochie Longman-Roberts (13), Hadlee Begg (14), Levi Moffat (14) and Jayden Robinson (13). PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Pupils from Timaru Boys’ High School have been encouraged to get out and wage war against pests in recent weeks.

The school’s environmental group organised a pest tail competition from June 5 to July 26, giving pupils the task to eradicate as many pests as possible.

“The purpose of it is to encourage the boys to make New Zealand predator-free and raises awareness of the problems,” group leader Josh Earnshaw said.

Pupils brought in tails of the pests they had killed, which were tallied up.

Prizes donated by Hunting & Fishing were awarded to the three contestants with the most tails.

The clear winner was year 11 pupil Gus Mackenzie, who brought in 186 rabbit and hare tails.

“I did it at home on the edge of Lake Pukaki at Braemar Station using a shotgun over the weekends and in the holidays,” he said.

Second place went to Hamish Smith, who gathered a diverse range of 94 tails – from rabbits, possums, deer, hares, rats, mice and couple of pigs.

“I’m from Waimate and did it there over about a month.”

Third was year 9 pupil Lochie Longman-Roberts, who compiled his tally of 50 at the back of Geraldine. It comprised possum, rabbit and pig tails.

Some stoat tails were also entered, as were several tails of which the organisers scratched their heads to decide exactly what they were.