Call of the wild
By TOBY WALKER
A SAVAGE attack of a kangaroo by wild dogs on a Yamba man's property has left him fearing for the safety of his young family.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was concerned a pack of wild dogs hunting animals in bushland on his Carrs Drive home could one day turn on his small children.
The dogs were spotted on Monday afternoon as they chased a large male adult kangaroo into a dam on the man's property. Suffering wounds to its ears and a large slash to its neck, the kangaroo remained in the dam as the dogs circled it.
The man said the three dogs, which had used the area as a hunting ground since they were pups, remained by the dam, howling through the night as they waited for the kangaroo to die.
A Wildlife Rescue Service (WIRES) ranger was called out to the dam the following morning to help the kangaroo but found it dead.
The property owner believes the dogs, thought to be a mix of domestic breeds and the native dingo, have killed almost 30 kangaroos in the area during the past 12 months.
He said he had seen the same dogs chase and kill three kangaroos on his own property in that time.
"THEY'RE (the dogs) fully grown and hunting in a pack," he said.
"I'm worrying about my young fella because if they corner him he'd have no chance, they're unbelievably quick.
"They're all the way out Angourie Road and different areas and they kill mainly small animals but if they cornered a little kid they'd hook into him."
He said landowners had always accepted the presence of dingoes in the area but believed an increase in behavioural patterns like pack hunting presented a danger that needed to be addressed.
The man said he had alert- ed the Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) to the problem six months ago but was prompted to seek its assistance again to help him bait the area and protect his property from the threat of another attack.
Dean Chamberlain, a ranger who oversees the wild dog problem across the Clarence Valley for the RLPB, said it was unlikely the dogs would attack small children but warned that the possibility could not be ruled out.
He said native dingoes naturally avoided contact with humans but he said mixedbreed wild or feral dogs were unpredictable and could potentially turn on a human, albeit a small child.