SYDNEY – New South Wales’s most wanted man, Malcolm Naden, is probably surviving on raw kangaroo or wombat and won’t be captured any time soon, the mayor of the region where he is believed to be hiding says.

Locals are fast gaining a grudging admiration for Mr Naden and his ability to use the rugged northern tablelands to evade capture, Walcha mayor Bill Heazlett says.

Mr Naden, a former abattoir worker, has a $250,000 bounty on his head for the alleged murder of his two cousins and the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

But despite a large manhunt involving camouflaged police, high-tech heat-seeking devices, aerial patrols and mobile command posts, he continues to evade capture.

“I think in the short term, they haven’t got much of a hope (of catching him),” Mr Heazlett said.

“In a sense we’re all sort of saying, these Aboriginal bushmen . . . it shows you how good he really is.”

Mr Heazlett, a farmer, said Mr Naden would be more than capable of surviving – as long he wasn’t fussy.

“If he has a gun, there’d be that much kangaroos and wallabies and wombats if you’re prepared to eat them,” he said.

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