Where you will find Ipswich’s biggest back scratcher

Who doesn’t love a good scratch?

Cows, like anybody, love to have a good rub up against a fence post or tree.

Dexter is a steer who lives in the barn at the Ipswich Nature Centre.

When Dexter has a scratch to itch, sometimes his hanging tire or the tree can fix it but more often than not, it is zoo staff that are summoned with a plastic rake in hand.

Ipswich Nature Centre senior zoologist Nicole Richards started to think perhaps there was a better way.

“I had been thinking for some time, that I would love to get a better back scratcher for Dexter,” she said.

“I was driving through council’s Riverview depot when I spotted the old street sweeper in a paddock.

“So I asked Ipswich Fleet manager Mark Sines if we could have one, and Mark and council mechanic Brett Kerle went into the depot shed and said ‘Let’s find you a good one’.”

After Brett picked out the best street sweeper for the job, council fabricator Steve Roger’s team got to work, with Boilermaker Brad Coles constructing a pole to support the back-scratcher.

But not just any pole. For a 400kg Angus steer, it had to be big.

Once that was done, they worked with a gardening team to get it in the 1.2 metre hole.

So has the team effort been worth it? What does Dexter think of his new scratching device?

“He took a bit of time to warm to it, but he really likes it now. It’s great,” Nicole said.

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