Police make disturbing find inside Brisbane hoarder house

More than 100 native animals and birds have been seized from a Queensland property after a joint compliance investigation.

Many of the creatures found at the Toowong address were suffering from disease or were blind, and will not be able to be released into the wild.

When police and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) inspectors opened the freezer they found a further 25 animals dead.

An offical standing with his back to the camera. He's looking at a stack of cages inside the Toowong home.
Police and DES officers found a home stacked with cages with native animals inside. Source: DES
Left: a brushtail possum. Right:  Investigators inside the Toowong home.
Brushtail possums (left) were among the animals seized from the property. Source: DES

“Wildlife officers and police searched the house in relation to a number of wildlife offences that were alleged to have been committed,” QPWS compliance officer Warren Christensen said.

“Many of the animals were being kept in small cages or enclosures inside the house without access to fresh air or sunlight,” he continued. “Our investigation has shown the person may be allowed to conduct native animal rehabilitation activities under a group rehabilitation permit, but it is clear the person had taken too many animals into care.”

110 animals seized from Brisbane home

Video released by authorities shows them entering the south Brisbane suburban Toowong property on November 2. It shows a number small rooms crammed full of stacked cages housing animals.

Left - a barn owl inside a pet carry cage. Right - a ringtail possum inside a pet carry cage.
A barn owl and ringtail possum were amongst the animals seized. Source: DES
Three ducks were found housed inside a plastic tub with a metal lid.
Three ducks were found housed inside a plastic tub. Source: DES

Photos show a ringtail possum, brushtail possums, a bush stone-curlew, magpies, lorikeets and a barn owl inside pet carrier cages. Two ducks can be seen crammed in a plastic tub with a metal-barred lid on top.

Due to the size of the find, RSPCA Queensland was called to assist, and all surviving animals were assessed by vets at their facility in Waco. Eighty-five animals were taken into care and 67 were euthanised.

“The conditions in which the animals were kept were clearly not consistent with regulatory requirements and may have allegedly breached the Animal Care and Protection Act,” Mr Christensen said. “Many of the animals were being kept in small cages or enclosures inside the house without access to fresh air or sunlight."

At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Christensen said the situation was "one of the worst I’ve encountered in probably my entire career."

"I don't think that the carer meant to be cruel to any of these animals," he said. "But the animals were certainly kept in conditions where you would say that they were cruel. The animals themselves had no room to move, there was insufficient food or water, there was insufficient light, the conditions were very squalid." It's believed the situation had been ongoing for several years.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who has information about wildlife offences is urged to call 1300 130 372.

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