Sick acts of cruelty

Tourists wanting to see kangaroos living in the wild need only to travel to Cowra’s Bellevue Hill to see one of Australia’s unique native animals roaming freely.

The kangaroos are a common sight in the area from the Nature Based Playground on Bellevue Hill, all along Sakura Avenue to Cowra’s Prisoner of War campsite.

Some Cowra residents believe there are too many of the kangaroos.

Groups of youths appear to have been taking matters into their own hands conducting their own “cull” of the kangaroos in recent months, killing or maiming the animals and leaving thousands of dollars worth of damage to council parks.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES IN GALLERY ABOVE

Their actions have prompted a number of concerned local residents to raise the issue with the dying or dead kangaroos often discovered by morning walkers.

Residents who live in the area have told the Cowra Guardian they hear the vehicles revving and screeching around up there, sounding their horns.

Track marks all over the grass verges from the Japanese Garden all the way to the POW campsite show where the vehicles have been.

”These kids are out killing the animals for fun,” a concerned resident said.

“There is no point calling the police because they don’t come,” he said.

Cowra Shire Council general manager Paul Devery said council is aware of the damage being caused on the grassed area by vehicles on the grassed areas and has had reports of dead kangaroos but is unaware if they are caused by deliberate actions.

“We are limited in what we can do to stop this vandalism,” Mr Devery said before encouraging anyone with information to contact police.

“It is really a police matter so we would ask anyone who has any information on the people doing this to contact Cowra Police.

“Over recent months we have had to remove three or four dead animals in the area.

“Whether these deaths have been deliberate of accidental is unknown.

“We have also been talking to the Office of Environment and Heritage about the options to manage the numbers of wildlife right across the reserve from Carleton Street to Evans Street as numbers do appear to be growing,” Mr Devery said of Cowra’s kangaroo population.

Acting Inspector Rod Buhr of Cowra Police said he wasn’t aware of the matters and advised members of the public who see or hear anything to report incidents to police.

“If we get information that this is happening we'll certainly follow it up,” Acting Inspector Buhr said.

“If people are able to give us registration numbers of the vehicles it would help.

“It's not an area we have a lot of problems with but if we know this is happening we can include it in our rounds,” he said.

Penalties for animal cruelty offences vary in each state of Australia and are covered by a number of different Acts but all have provisions for jail terms and fines.

The maximum penalties in NSW, according to the RSPCA website is five years jail and $22,000 for an individual under the Crimes Act 1900, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.