12-year-old Neil Macalisang with his mother Milaflor Rushton.
12-year-old Neil Macalisang with his mother Milaflor Rushton. Josh Preston

OPINION: Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction

SHORTLY after I began working at The Gympie Times, a former university tutor told me "You'll have fun there Josh, there's always lots of news in Gympie”.

Boy, was he right.

I have been lucky enough to cover some amazing stories in my first four months here, but I think my wackiest experience came with a trip out to Anderleigh on Thursday.

ALL THE ACTION FROM AN ANIMAL-FILLED WEEK

HUNTED: Gympie schoolboy's terrifying escape from angry boar

MUST READ: Gympie truckie mauled in feral cat attack

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It might be a bit rough and tumble but we love it up here

GOOSE CHASE: Kybong servo gaggle find their new home

When animals attack - the best things I've read this week

SINISTER ACT: Leading Gympie businessman linked to cruel blood sport

A Gympie man was attacked by a feral cat as large as a cattle dog on the weekend.
A Gympie man was attacked by a feral cat as large as a cattle dog on the weekend. Contributed

Adam Whitehouse and Grame Spillman, awarded for their bravery.
Adam Whitehouse and Grame Spillman, awarded for their bravery. Jacob Carson

One day on from hearing about local truckie Adam Whitehouse's chilling encounter with a feral cat (black panther?), I couldn't quite believe it when John Dickfos rang our office with news of another animal-related nightmare: A fairly large and fairly angry wild pig had terrorised a young boy as he waited for his school bus.

Surely not an actual case of a human-hunting pig, mere weeks after Chris Sun premiered a horror film about exactly the same thing?

You betcha.

The full reality of this story didn't properly dawn on me until I was hearing it straight from the horse's mouth.

Here was 12-year-old Neil Macalisang telling me he really had feared for his life when he saw the menacing boar emerge from nearby bushes and start running towards him.

12-year-old Neil Macalisang had a terrifying experience with an angry boar on Tuesday.
12-year-old Neil Macalisang had a terrifying experience with an angry boar on Tuesday. Josh Preston

Here was John telling me he hadn't ever encountered a pig quite as "cheeky” as this one.

Yes, this really did happen.

And to cap it all off, I had a very close call with an escaped cow standing on the shoulder of narrow Sandy Creek Rd as I journeyed home.

Thank goodness Neil was unhurt and can tell the story to his friends with a smile on his face.

LUCKY ESCAPE: Gympie schoolboy Neil Macalisang had a terrifyingly close call with a feral pig.
LUCKY ESCAPE: Gympie schoolboy Neil Macalisang had a terrifyingly close call with a feral pig. Josh Preston

Kybong geese find a new home.
Kybong geese find a new home. Josh Preston

What a truly incredible yarn, and in the very same week we (could have) received our strongest evidence yet of black panthers in the region.

In the very same week I visited Brian Burton's farm (near Neil's house) to see the legendary Kybong goose gaggle all settled in to their new home.

Sometimes life really does imitate art.

Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction.

"Lots of news in Gympie”, indeed.

Gympie Times


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