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Susan has cane toads in sights

Susan Pender moved from the wealthy suburb of Toorak to start a business in Kingscliff and found a cause to help the environment. Ms Pender hunts toads and collects 10-12 a night during her evening walks in summer.
Susan Pender moved from the wealthy suburb of Toorak to start a business in Kingscliff and found a cause to help the environment. Ms Pender hunts toads and collects 10-12 a night during her evening walks in summer.

A KINGSCLIFF woman, who makes fine jewellery for Melbourne's elite by day, becomes a cane toad hunter by night.

Susan Pender moved her jewellery business from wealthy Toorak to Kingscliff about two years ago.

The quiet beach community was where she was confronted by a threat that had driven her to make a difference.

“We used to live in Broome in the last decade, and there was this fear the cane toad was coming,” she said.

“It wasn't there yet, but there was a real concern for the natural environment.”

Ten years later and Ms Pender was in Kingscliff taking up the fight for the environment against the toad.

“Every summer evening I go for a walk and collect about 10 to 12 cane toads,” Ms Pender said.

“I found one the other day.

“And I found him and he was a plump fellow sitting on the edge of my pond. Usually in winter you only see scrawny little things. I got him, which is good, because he looked like a good breeder.”

Ms Pender's love of animals came about from childhood in Adelaide.

Her father was on the board of Adelaide Zoo and was an animal lover.

“My father used to bring animals home that were going to be put down,” she said.

“They were often different, and you can't display faults in the animals.”

Ms Pender said her father bought home a three-legged deer, and it lived happily with the family until it died of old age.

The toads would not be so lucky.

Topics:  cane toads jewellery store kingscliff melbourne



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