Kangaroos the victims this time –some had survived the February Carwoola bushfire and were in a Wildcare enclosure. Next time could as easily be sheep or alpacas.
From Wednesday 16 to Monday 21 August, two cattle dogs – a red female and a blue male – left a trail of death and injury in Wamboin. Their first victim, a young male kangaroo, was chased, caught, bitten on the rump and neck and died from myopathy.
These dogs had tasted blood and weren’t done.
They discovered a Wildcare enclosure with 1.8m fences containing 11 rehabilitating kangaroos. By Monday morning 6 of those 11 animals were either dead from direct attack or subsequent euthanasia, injured, or missing.
While there wasn’t much left of her, one victim was identified by her ear markings as ‘Ember’, rescued from Carwoola after the bushfire in February.
The blue dog was apprehended and returned to the owner. The red dog evaded capture and simply returned home.
Over the next three days, three animals were successfully returned to the enclosure where they are receiving treatment for their new injuries and myopathy. At the time of writing, two are still outside and unprotected.
Bungendore Police and the QPRC Ranger have attended the property and/or had numerous conversations with witnesses and full reports will be compiled for all relevant authorities.
Dogs that appear calm and friendly can turn feral, especially after they have killed. The dogs’ owner’s assurance that this is the first time these dogs have escaped and done anything like this is irrelevant and a poor response.
The wildlife carers and other witnesses are asking that these dogs be declared ‘dangerous or menacing’ by council, a legal designation that can lead to their euthanasia.
The Wamboin/Bywong Facebook discussion board has been busy with ‘my dog got out’ posts and helpful suggestions from others for more effective enclosures on rural residential acreage. Knowing what different dogs are bred to do and choosing an appropriate breed for living in the country with other animals also helps, along with training.