Monday, August 17, 2009

Wildlife Bytes 11/8/09

Another Fraser Island Dingo Killed

The Queensland Government has destroyed the dingo which attacked a four-year-old boy on Fraser Island off south-east Queensland last week. The Department of Environment and Resource Management says the dingo was culled last Friday night. It is the eighth dingo to be destroyed this year. The family, who were on holiday on the island from Holland, say they had to fight off the dingo that attacked their boy last Wednesday. Queensland Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said last week the boy's legs were badly punctured by the animal but he did not require stitches. *

Meanwhile, A study has found groundwater on world heritage-listed Fraser Island, off south-east Queensland, is being severely polluted by human waste. The University of the Sunshine Coast's Bill Carter has found the quality of the island's groundwater in camping areas is below Queensland water quality standards. Professor Carter says finding a solution to removing the waste will be difficult. "[There are] very high levels of faecal coliforms in the groundwater and some of these are even flowing onto the beach," he said. "Plus, there are very high nutrient levels in the groundtable, likewise flowing onto the beach, so some real concerns for the island. "Let me tell you when we first found that result, we started washing our hands very regularly and making sure that we boiled any water that we used from those areas." *ABC

Environmental Laywer Wanted.

Environmental Defenders Office of North Queensland Inc. seeks an experienced environmental lawyer to help us defend North Queensland’s Unique Environment. The position is based in Cairns, with a salary range between $54,800 to $59,900 For more details please contact us at or 07 4031 4766 Applications close August 27, 2009 Principal Solicitor & Coordinator Defend North Queensland’s Unique Natural Environment 061059639. * Network Item

Coyote Stolen

Brockville's (US) acting director of parks and recreation expressed disappointment Tuesday after learning the city's Canada geese deterring decoy coyote had been poached by thieves. Valerie Harvey said she was saddened not only by yet another incident of theft or vandalism at a city park, but also because after less than a week on the job, the coyote appeared to be working. It was working so well, in fact, that the city will be replacing it. "I was disappointed. Regardless of who it is, it impacts all of the users of the parks," said Harvey. "We would hope that the person or persons that stole it would return it," she added. "Especially if those individuals are using the park because I'm sure that they prefer not having the goose droppings in the grass." Brockville Police Inspector Scott Fraser said the lifelike coyote, which stands just under two feet in height, was stolen from Centeen Park on Sunday night or early Monday morning. Both Harvey and Fraser were appealing to the public for information. "Someone in town will know who did it," said Fraser. "They'll have it as a trophy in their house or their apartment." Clearly, city parks and recreation staff were concerned about the possibility thieves would target the unusual waterfront sight when they set it loose last week. However, using metal rods driven deep into the ground and a mechanism to secure the decoy in place, Harvey said they felt it was secure. *Network Item

Magpie Geese

This little story above reminds me of once when a rural neighbor of mine couldnt get a Permit to shoot magpie geese. He claimed they were eating the grass he needed for his cattle. So he purchased a gas powered cannon which went of at irregular intervals (day and night, to the chagrin of the neighbors) to frighten the magpie geese away. Within a couple of weeks the geese were perching on the cannon, not the least bit afraid of the noise. Then we received some heavy rain, the lake came up and covered the gas-powered cannon, and it blew itself up. Very sad. *WPAA

Two heads better than one?

A two-headed cobra snake has been born in China. Mr Liu, a rail worker who breeds snakes as a hobby, said he was amazed when he first saw the reptile. He had bought 10 snake eggs to hatch at his home in Jiujiang, eastern China's Jiangxi province, reports Dajiang Network. "When the cobras hatched out, one of them had two heads," said Liu. He said the cobra was able to eat using both of its mouths simultaneously. It's four eyes were cloudy - but he expected that to change when the snake sheds its skin for the first time. A spokesman for the local wild animal protection centre said the two-headed snake was most likely the result of genetic mutation. *Network Item

Gt Barrier Reef

An international study has found that the economic cost of coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef would be $37.7 billion. The Oxford Economics report, which values the reef at $51.4 billion, also found up to 50 per cent of tourists who would normally visit the reef would stay away from Queensland if bleaching was permanent. The study was commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to set an economic benchmark for the natural asset. The foundation's John Schubert says the figures paint a disturbing picture for tourism and local communities that directly benefit from their proximity to the reef. Managing director Judy Stewart expects the economic study will set a new standard for valuing the environment. "I expect that the methodology will be looked at in great detail by other economists looking at other environmental assets elsewhere, as well as how we value coral reefs elsewhere," she said. * ABC


20 years ago the African elephant was being poached to extinction in many areas. In response, the world voted to outlaw the international trade in ivory. Elephant numbers have since recovered in many countries. But, this new BBC radio 4 documentary Last Chance for Africa’s Elephants? looks at how in the last five years, ivory poaching and trafficking have surged once more, fueled by war, free trade and rising incomes in Asia. One group of conservation scientists has calculated that 38,000 elephants are being killed every year which could lead to near extinction in 15 years. But, almost all the poaching is occurring in Central African countries, often torn apart by war, and other elephant experts argue the slaughter rate is not as high as this but are still alarmed at the steep increase in poaching in many African countries.

Wildlife Poaching

A 59-year-old man from the WA wheatbelt town of Morawa has been fined more than $4,500 for unlawfully possessing protected birds. Herbert Edward Kenyon pleaded guilty in the Geraldton Magistrates Court to illegally possessing three Carnaby's Cockatoos and 11 Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos. Officers from the Department of Environment and Conservation found the birds caged in the backyard and laundry of Mr Kenyon's home. He was fined $3,000 for possessing the Carnaby's Cockatoos, which are on the state's endangered species list because there are only about 40,000 of them left in WA. *ABC


It is now generally accepted that the bowhead whale is the longest lived mammal on the planet, with a lifespan of over 200 years. But that it can sing with "more than one voice" and that it changes its repertoire from year to year is news. This behaviour is unique among baleen whales and is a newly discovered phenomenon that has been investigated by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. The project comes at a time when the bowhead whale, after many years of absence, has returned to the waters around northwest Greenland, including Disko Bay. It wasn't that many years ago that the bowhead whale was written off as extinct in the waters around Greenland and especially in Disko Bay in northwest Greenland where University of Copenhagen has its Arctic Field Station. read more here....

Native Fish and Frogs deemed Collateral Damage

The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF) says about 4,000 noxious tilapia fish have been found in dams near Bundaberg in south-east Queensland. The pest was discovered in the Bullyard area in April. Poison is now being added to 16 privately-owned dams on two properties to eradicate the fish. DPIF regional manager Dr Nikki Moore says officers are trying to stop the infestation spreading to the Kolan River and other catchments. "Tilapia is a really invasive species and it's bad," she said. "We believe they are contained in the dams and that is why we are doing this exercise to remove them, to protect our natural waterways and our natural fish population." Dr Moore says the poison is an environmentally-approved control method. "We have had some native fish killed as well but it is a lot less if tilapia got out into the waterways and were competing in those areas," she said. "We will be restocking these farm dams with Australian bass, it is a far more appropriate fish to have in a farm dam." *ABC

Ed Comment; We have to wonder what the poison will do to frogs, and birds that eat the dead fish...

Camels A US television business show host has become an instant pin-up girl for animal liberationists after calling Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a "serial killer" for approving camel culling. Erin Burnett is famous for her sizzling looks - she once posed topless for men's magazine Maxim - as well as her outspoken views on CNBC show Squawk On The Street. Her latest diatribe took a bizarre twist when she stopped midway through a stock analysis to take aim at Mr Rudd for approving an aerial cull of feral camels in the Outback, costing $19 million. With a photograph of Mr Rudd up on the screen and a fluffy toy camel perched nearby, Burnett said: "There is a serial killer in Australia". "He has launched air strikes - air strikes - against camels. "They are slaughtering them."

The comments have made Burnett the darling of animal liberationists upset at the proposed cull - to be carried out by marksmen in helicopters - which is aimed at stopping the one million camels destroying the desert's ecosystem. Animal Liberation NSW executive director Mark Pearson backed the outspoken American last night. "If it was a premeditated decision to kill a person and then another and another - and that's what's going to happen with the camels - then it is serial killing," Mr Pearson said. "This a Rambo operation and I'm amazed Rudd has authorised it. Aerial killing is the most inhumane."

Wildlife Protection Association of Australia president Pat O'Brien said the "serial killer" line, while sensationalist, had a ring of truth. "Mr Rudd gave permission to have more than 500 kangaroos killed last year in Belconnen (in the ACT) and that was because they wanted the land for development," he said. But even among conservationists not everyone is happy. One group noted that the comments deserved the line "only in America". The Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia backed the cull to save native flora and fauna from a herd growing by about 80,000 a year. Mr Rudd refused to comment. * Daily Telegraph

Ed Comment; The Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia is Vincent Serventys old group. We've said this before, but when conservation groups lose sight of animal welfare issues, they become increasingly irrelevant. I did several radio interviews, and tried to get across to the media the uselessness of it all....just a bandade, and they need to get more wholistic and more humane about wild animal controls...with this "strategy" of spending 19 million to aerial shoot them, they will need to do it each two or three years to keep numbers down, otherwise the money is just wasted. That money could be much better spent by devising contraception processes that can be humanely spread through whole populations, and permanently fix the problem of too many introduced wild animals. I also questioned the numbers of camels quoted. They can't accurately count kangaroos, how can they accurately count camels across a very much bigger area? What barbaric lot our politicians are...I suppose they get so used to trying to knife each other in the back they lose all feeling and perspective. *

Flying Foxes

Shooters who kill fruit bats foraging in NSW orchards must then find and kill their babies in the nest, as part of draft government guidelines for culling the animals. The Department of Primary Industries is trying to reach a compromise between farmers and environment groups over keeping bats away from orchards around Sydney. Clubbing baby bats is seen as a more humane way of ending their lives than letting them die of hunger, the guidelines suggest. NSW is the only state in which bats are shot under licence. Cabinet is considering whether to ban shooting, subsidise nets to protect crops or let the existing system of licensed culls continue. The Opposition and environment groups say the draft shooting guidelines, as well as being cruel and impractical, suggest that a shooting ban is off the agenda.

''The idea is ludicrous. How are shooters supposed to work out which baby belongs to which dead mother, when they are moving around by spotlight in the dark?'' Opposition environment spokeswoman Catherine Cusack said. The draft guidelines recommend the babies be ''quickly and humanely euthanased with a blow to the skull using a hard and heavy blunt instrument (eg metal pipe, wooden club etc) to destroy the brain''. They suggest dogs could locate wounded bats on the ground so shooters could finish them off. The Humane Society International said the bats could not be destroyed without suffering, and supported calls for subsidised nets to protect orchards. A spokeswoman for Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said the guidelines had no official status yet and were prepared with input from the Department of Environment and Climate Change, farmers and conservation groups. Of the three fruit bat species subject to culling, two are protected and one, the grey-headed flying fox, is listed as vulnerable to extinction. *SMH

Magpies Poisoned

Palm Beach (Qld) residents have been rocked by a possible magpie massacre, with 25 dead birds found just as the annual swooping season starts. Only one bird survived the slaughter, believed to have been caused by poisoned bread, and is recovering at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary made the grisly discovery on the corner of Seventh and Tahiti avenues after being tipped off by a member of the public yesterday morning. "It's tragic. The suffering these birds have gone through is tremendous," said senior vet Michael Pyne. "Although it is a relatively quick death they still suffered an awful lot for about an hour," he said. While the death toll sits at 25, Mr Pyne said it could easily climb higher. "There's every chance more dead birds could show up."

The killer faces up to a year in prison or a $100,000 fine if caught, as magpies are a protected native species and it is an offence to kill them. "QPWS officers are investigating in the area where the birds were found," said a Department of Environment and Resource Management spokeswoman. "Rangers will undertake a letterbox drop and doorknock in the immediate area and encourage anyone with information to contact DERM on 1300 130 372," she said. "We have no answers yet whether poison was involved or whether these were accidental or deliberate deaths." Specimens from the birds and possibly poisoned bread found near the bodies of the birds have been sent to Biosecurity Queensland labs for toxicology testing.

Mr Pyne said the torn up bread supported his theory that they had been poisoned. "Unfortunately the birds will eat almost anything, so it is very easy to poison them. A lot of people don't really like them. "Kids could be involved or it might be someone who just doesn't like the birds hanging around their place. "We just don't know." Mr Pyne said the surviving bird was saved after being given a poison antidote. "You truly had to look to see if she was alive. She was lying on her side -- you could just see she was breathing. "Now she's standing up and looks like she'll make a recovery." Residents in Seventh and Tahiti avenues were shocked by the massacre and said they had never had any problems with the birds. "It's weak," said Trevor Brooks.

"No one likes being hit by a magpie and you might feel like smacking one but you don't go out and do this." Jean Lockhart said the birds used to gather on her lawn. "I don't believe it would happen in the area. Most people are animal lovers around here," she said. The magpie breeding season runs from July to December with the peak, often referred to as the swooping season, occurring from August to October. *Gold Coast Bulletin

Game Hunting

Dubbo Zoo has sold endangered antelope to a member of the Shooters’ Party who wants to charge hunters thousands of dollars for the right to shoot them on a private game reserve. Bob McComb, who owns the Dongadale Deer Park and Stud, has bought 24 blackbuck antelope in the past three years – paying between $160 and $300 for animals the zoo said were ‘‘not required’’ in its collection. ‘I see private game reserves as a very effective way to achieve that conservation,’’ Mr McComb, the chairman of the Adventure and Safari Industry Association of NSW, said. ‘‘I’m not going to say we’re going to hunt elephants or giraffes. When I look at public acceptance, I look at the continuum of acceptability.’’

Under a private member’s bill introduced by the NSW Shooters’ Party, which would amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Mr McComb intends to use the species for trophy hunting. He said hunting was the only way to make breeding the antelope financially viable and his game reserve would be focused on ethical hunting and conservation outcomes. ‘‘If we can build up a legal and ethical safari trade, a tourist will pay $100 a kilo to harvest an animal. That’s cash weight at the farm gate,’’ he said. ‘‘The biggest issue [is] as soon as you mention a rifle, cruelty comes into it: ‘Oh, cruelty, cruelty, cruelty.’ ’’ A spokeswoman for Taronga Western Plains Zoo said Mr McComb’s property was examined by the zoo’s senior veterinarian before the sale and it was stipulated the animals could only be used for breeding.

The chairman of the zoo’s Zoological Health and Welfare Committee, Tony English, is also a councillor on the Game Council NSW, a statutory authority that assists hunters in culling feral animals. The Greens’ spokeswoman on animal welfare, Lee Rhiannon, said the sale raised concerns about the handling of animals by public zoos and the Government’s dealings with the Shooters’ Party. ‘‘If the Government supports this bill, it would have to be one of the dirtiest deals done in NSW Parliament,’’ she said. Robert Brown, who introduced the bill, has vowed to hold the Government to ransom until it is passed. He said blackbuck would be an appropriate species for enclosed reserves. Blackbuck are deemed endangered under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act and granted the highest level of protection alongside elephants and lions.

Carmel Tebbutt, who is responsible for Dubbo Zoo as Minister for the Environment, is not required to approve the sale of animals. Her spokeswoman would not comment on whether the sale was acceptable. "The zoo has the authority to conduct these transactions as part of species management," she said. The Government maintains it will not support the bill. Mr McComb argued guns were a more humane method of killing animals than barbiturates and said it would have been better to shoot the whale calf abandoned at Pittwater last year rather than euthanase it by lethal injection. *SMH

Rooks and Crows

Aesop was quite the fable-teller, but was he a student of bird behavior as well? A study in Current Biology suggests he might have been. Christopher Bird of the University of Cambridge and Nathan J. Emery of Queen Mary University of London report that rooks, a relative of the crow, are able to use stones to raise the level of water in a container so they can reach a floating worm. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to Aesop’s fable about the crow and the pitcher, in which a thirsty bird adds stones to raise the water level in a pitcher in order to drink from it. Crows, rooks and other corvids are known for their tool use — using sticks as probes, for example, or fashioning hooks out of wire. Dr. Bird, who studies corvid behavior, knew of a 1980s study in which a rook plugged a hole in its aviary to allow a pool of water to form. That led him to wonder if a corvid could do what is described in the fable.

They experimented with four captive rooks, presenting them with a clear tube partly filled with water with a bug floating on top, and a pile of stones. In one variant, the starting height of the water changed from trial to trial. In another, the birds had a choice of two sizes of stone. The birds quickly caught on, and within a couple of trials had figured out how many stones they needed to bring the bug within reach. “It was a remarkable combination of some understanding of the task with really rapid learning,” Dr. Bird said. The findings were published in Current Biology. Rooks don’t use tools in the wild, because they don’t need to — they have easy access to food like carrion. But in captivity, they can be presented with a situation like this, where it pays to figure out how to perform a task. “This fits nicely with Aesop’s moral,” Dr. Bird said, “that necessity is the mother of invention.”

The researchers suggested that Aesop (or whoever came up with the fable, since the stories are thought to have many origins) may have seen similar behavior in a crow. Or perhaps, Dr. Bird said, it was a rook. “In folklore all members of the corvid family are just called crow,” he said. “So it might just as easily have been Aesop’s rook.” *New York Times

Game Reserves Touted

The Game Council of New South Wales says allowing private game reserves in the state would help better conserve endangered species. Concern has been raised about the fate of 16 blackbuck antelope the Taronga Western Plains Zoo has sold to a member of the Shooters' Party, who wants to establish a game reserve in the central west. The Shooters' Party currently has a bill before Parliament calling for the establishment of safari parks. Game council chief executive Brian Boyle says privatising wildlife management can be a saviour for endangered animals. "They are possibly endangered in their own countries and that's why things like private game reserves and zoos over here are a life raft for the species now," he said. "By putting a commercial value on the animal it's actually privatising wildlife management - we privatise everything else in Australia, but when it comes to wildlife we say hands off and it isn't working. "In African countries where there is commercial value or conservation hunting of those animals, the wildlife is doing very well, in countries like Kenya where hunting is totally banned, they have no populations of the wild animals outside the national parks." *ABC


"Sustainable" Kangaroo Industry

Having spent the last 15 years commercially shooting kangaroos near Charleville, Jason Stafford reckons the industry is in its worst shape ever. A Russian ban on kangaroo meat has hit the Charleville kangaroo industry hard as Russia had been one of its most important markets. When the ban caused his main client United Game Processing to cut its demand for kangaroo meat, Mr Stafford was able to get work supplying another Charleville meat works, Game Meat Processing. Mr Stafford said he considered himself lucky to be able to continue as a full-time kangaroo shooter. “Some of the full-time shooters have had to go to get other jobs,” Mr Stafford said. Making a decent living to support his family has become more difficult though as Mr Stafford said the price of kangaroo meat has been on a decline over the last couple of years. “In 2006 and 2007, we were getting between one dollar and $1.30 a kilogram.” “It had gone down hill slowly to about 80 cents per kilogram a couple of months ago, but then there was another 15 cent drop.” “If the money goes any lower, a lot of us will have to get out (of the industry).” *Chronicle

The kangaroo may be on the coat of arms, but Australian's don't always have the most harmonious relationship with the marsupial. The kangaroo is often seen as a pest and all too often, as roadkill. Scientists say kangaroos are likely to continue to move to densely populated areas, as water becomes more scarce. And researchers are examining ways of controlling the spread of the animal by developing a sustainable harvesting industry. Presenter: Lexi Metherell reports Speaker: Dr Michael Archer, University of New South Wales; David Clarke, from the New South Wales Farmers Association. Ed Comment; If anyone wants to listen to this nonsense you can go here;

French wildlife authorities have finally caught up with a kangaroo that had been hopping around the French countryside for the past 10 days. Wildlife authorities cornered Will the kangaroo in the south-west village of Juillac-le-Coq late Wednesday and used a tranquilliser dart gun to put him to sleep and capture him, said his owner. Police had been receiving phone calls over past weeks from local residents who had spotted the 1.2-metre marsupial bouncing around a children's park or in corn fields. It remains unclear how Will managed to escape his pen in the first place. His owner, who lives in the nearby village of Gente, was on holidays when he went off on his adventure. * AFP

Ethical Wasteland

The Wildlife Society is a bunch of "wildlife professionals" (their words) who work to raise funds for sustainable wildlife Industries. They are a fairly powerful lobby group of researchers who support killing kangaroos and other wildlife. Mostly working from Universities where they can use the Uni's resources, they have had major input into really bad decisions about "managing" our wildlife. If you want to read a lot of garbage, and want to get angry, you can read some of their comments about the Majura kangaroo kill here... This is a blog, and you are invited to make comments, but I couldnt get the comments section to work. Perhaps I shouldnt have used those words............*

Kangaroo Arrests Made

A man is facing animal cruelty charges after four injured kangaroos were discovered in eastern Victoria. Two other men and a teenager were also arrested today in Jack Smith Lake Game Reserve in Middle Road, Darriman. A 21-year-old man from Athlone was charged with car theft, criminal damage, possessing a firearm while unlicensed and cruelty to animals. He was bailed to appear at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court in Morwell on September 15. A 20-year-old Drouin South man is expected to be charged on summons for firearm offences and hunting protected animals. An 18-year-old Warragul man is expected to be charged on summons for cruelty to animals. Police have also questioned a 15-year-old boy. The Department of Sustainability and Environment is also investigating. *AAP

Kangaroo Research

ACT researchers say early results from a kangaroo tracking program in Canberra show the animals have a limited home range for feeding. Ecologists from the ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services are part way through a two-year project to monitor the movements of eastern grey kangaroos using GPS collars. So far the research has revealed male kangaroos stay in an area of about three-square kilometres, while female kangaroos remain in an area of about half a square kilometre. Senior ecologist Don Fletcher says some of the data will be used to help reduce the number of wildlife road accidents around Canberra. "There's also potentially quite a bit of value in doing more about the motor vehicle collisions with kangaroos," he said. "We've got a few plans in that area and we'd like to be able to inform the road engineers better." Mr Fletcher says the development of GPS technology has made it easier to collect the information. "It's wonderful data, quite accurate locations from the GPS collars and lots and lots of it," he said. "And there's quite interesting patterns." *ABC

Ed Comment; There has been a lot of criticism through the wildlife networks about this project. One of our kangaroo expert associates noted;

This study by Don Fletcher would have to top the list of the biggest waste of tax payers money. He keeps creating ridiculous studies to keep himself in a job. You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to realize that Kangaroo collisions happen because so much of their habitat has been taken away. They HAVE to cross roads. Also, so many are being shot that many flee in terror and move to areas that they would not live. Fletcher is clearly not questioned about his useless research and will continue on his killing spree for as long as he can pull the wool over the idiotic Politicians who also appear to hate the Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Don’t get me wrong, there would be a Fletcher in every state who believes he or she is the Guru in regards to understanding Kangaroos. Fletcher has stated several things which to anyone who knows anything about Kangaroos has exposed him to know absolutely nothing about their behaviour, family dynamics or movement. *

Kangaroos Killed

Four severely hacked kangaroo carcasses were discovered dumped in Mogo State Forest on Saturday. Malua Bay resident Mike Johnson was mountain bike riding west of the Princes Highway, near Misons Road, when a number of crows alerted him to the dumping site. “The kangaroos were chopped up into bits,” he said. “It wasn’t a very nice scene.” Mr Johnson said he had been cycling around different parts of Mogo State Forest since moving to the South Coast three years ago. “This is the first time I’ve come across something like that.”

Mr Johnson contacted the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), NSW Police and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). National Parks and Wildlife Services spokesman Stuart Cohen said the service would be investigating whether the kangaroos were illegally culled. Even if they were legally culled, there was still an issue with the way the carcasses were dumped. Mr Cohen said there were no commercial culling operations on the South Coast, but farmers and landholders were able to apply for a 121 licence for non-commercial culling. He said non-commercial culling requires the licensed shooter to tag the kangaroo carcass. Mr Cohen said the meat could be given to dogs, but was not permitted for human consumption. A NPWS officer is due to attend the scene today to investigate the matter. *Bay Post

Later the ABC reports an investigation has begun after the discovery of mutilated kangaroo carcasses in Eurobodalla bushland on the State's far south coast. A bike rider found the remains of four animals in a shallow open grave west of the Princes Highway in the Mogo State Forest on Saturday. The National Parks and Wildlife Service says it suspects the kangaroos were killed illegally, and haven't been disposed of appropriately. A spokesman, Stuart Cohen, says there are numerous incidences of kangaroos being shot illegally on the Far South Coast. "Some people just shoot kangaroos for entertainment value," he said. "Others are not particularly interested in going through the process of applying for a license. "And others are shooting kangaroos illegally for the purposes of human consumption and to feed dogs." ABC

Kangaroo shot by Coppers
A police attempt to euthanase a wounded kangaroo went horribly wrong in front of a group of children. Police in Armidale were asked by the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) to euthanase the animal, which appeared to have broken a leg. But the operation was captured on film and posted online. In the clip, an officer fires three shots at the kangaroo at close range over a one-minute period. The kangaroo survives the first two shots and limps across a main road before being shot dead by the officer, metres from school students. The video - taken on Barney Street, Armidale, about 1.40pm on Sunday - has already generated online comments by people angry at the animal's treatment.The kangaroo was injured after being hit by a car, and had to be put down, said acting Inspector Matthew Crotty from Armidale police. "It's not uncommon for us to get called to a location to euthanase a kangaroo, being a rural area," he said.

A WIRES spokeswoman said the "options for a kangaroo with a broken leg are euthanasia and euthanasia". The preferable options were a "clean head shot" with a shotgun or a lethal injection by a vet, she said. "But transporting an animal with a badly broken leg to a vet is sometimes not the most humane option." As police prepared to shoot the kangaroo, the shock of the teenagers is heard in the video. "They won't do it with all of us here," one said. As the exercise drags on in full view of the public, the teens comment on the officer's inability to make a clean shot. "What? Are you kidding? Did he miss from there?" one says. Acting Inspector Crotty acknowledged the operation could have been quicker. "Ideally it would take just one shot," he said.

But shooting a kangaroo with a pistol was challenging, as its head was the size of a coffee cup, he said. "And we can't walk up to a wild animal, particularly a kangaroo that's flighty and can be dangerous, and put a firearm to its head." RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the kangaroo had to be killed and police had done their best. "Having looked at the footage, it is our belief that the police did their level best to destroy the animal as well as they could, given the circumstances they were in. "The destruction of any animal is never a pretty scene." Acting Inspector Crotty said it was "unfortunate" the video had been posted online. Armidale police had already received a number of calls, he said. He said officers had tried to prevent onlookers from seeing it by moving their police van into place as a shield, but the kangaroo had moved away. They were also not aware their actions were being filmed, he said. Senior police at Armidale would review the incident to ensure the officers acted appropriately, as happens with all animal euthanasing, he said. * Network Item

End Animal Experimentation....

Thinking about Wildlife? Who’s going to watch over our wildlife when you no longer share their World? Well, we are! The Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. will continue to forcefully lobby governments to do better with wildlife management, and by taking them to Court if necessary. We are currently working on developing eLearning projects, so students can become aware of the importance of our wildlife living in a safe and secure natural environment. After you have looked after your family and friends in your Will, think about wildlife. A bequest to the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. will ensure that we can continue to take a leading role in protecting and conserving our precious wildlife. None of the donations we receive are diverted to "administration". Every dollar we get through bequests or donations for wildlife hits the ground running! Talk to your solicitor, or if writing your own Will, add the words "I bequeath to The Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc. for the purpose of protecting wildlife in Australia (a specified sum), or (specified items including land or vehicle), or (the residue of my estate) or (percentage of my estate) free of all duties, and the receipt of the President, Secretary or other authorised WPAA officer for the time being shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s)." You can also phone me for a confidential chat, as to how a bequest can help us work to protect our wildlife, when you are no longer able to. * Pat O’Brien, WPAA 07 54941890