Dogs used to hunt kangaroos caught on camera
CALLOUS owners are letting bloodthirsty hounds off the leash and hiding so the dogs can hunt kangaroos in Gold Coast wetlands.
In the latest twist in the probe, residents living next to Coombabah reserve have captured images of the dogs believed to be responsible for the maulings on camera.
"They're still letting their dogs come down here, but now there's no sign of the owners. So the dogs still get their kill and the owners don't get fined," an angry Steve Jeffery of The Estuary and Summer Waters Resort Neighbourhood Watch Focus Group said.
The Bulletin last month reported a resident leapt into waist-deep water to save a kangaroo being mauled by dogs, while the owners of the hounds hurled abuse from the riverbank.
The Gold Coast City Council and RSPCA are investigating the hunts. Offenders are facing fines of up to $30,000. Council officers and police are patrolling the area.
A man told the Bulletin last month that he jumped into Coombabah Creek at dusk when he heard splashing, screaming and barking.
"These were not normal dogs, they were trained to hunt and they were after this kangaroo. Two dogs mauling a kangaroo is not hunting. It's disgusting."
He said he screamed at the owners, who were watching from the banks, to help him but they ignored him. "When the kangaroo eventually escaped, they started swearing at me."
Mr Jeffery said two vicious dogs, with spiked collars, were spotted around the reserve last week.
"I saw them running at a helluva pace," he said. "A resident recognised the black dog as the same one that recently tried to kill a kangaroo near her house."
Mr Jeffery has distributed a photo of the dogs to most of the 240 residents at The Estuary and the Summer Waters Resort.
"There have also been a couple of suspicious characters wandering around here, real grubs."
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty warned offenders could be fined up to $30,000.
"Kangaroos are native wildlife, so they're protected from this type of activity. You can't just go down and shoot or hunt them. Definitely not," he said.
Mr Beatty said the only organised, legal culling of kangaroos was carried out through Biosecurity Queensland, but this did not happen often.
Residents said they were very upset about strangers coming into the area to set their dogs on kangaroos.
"We love the wildlife around here and we don't want them scared away or hurt."
A Gold Coast City Council spokesman said officers had interviewed a complainant and another witness, and statements had been obtained.
"Officers have spoken with the owner of the two dogs and inquiries are continuing," he said.
"Appropriate enforcement action will result at the conclusion of the investigation should an offence be substantiated.
"Since being notified of the attack, council officers have conducted random patrols through this area which will continue over coming weeks to ensure there are no ongoing offences being committed at this location," the spokesman said.
Report animal cruelty to the RSPCA on 1300 264 625 or 1300 852 188.