SHOCKED: The red-necked wallabies in a ditch near the Coutts Crossing cemetery.
SHOCKED: The red-necked wallabies in a ditch near the Coutts Crossing cemetery.

Dead wallabies found in ditch

ILLEGAL hunters are suspected to be responsible for the deaths of three red-necked wallabies found in a ditch this week.

Clarence Valley ecologist Greg Clancy found the bodies near the Coutts Crossing cemetery while he was out walking with a group of birdwatchers on Monday.

He said the three wallabies were far enough from the road to clearly show they weren't road kill and had "almost certainly" been killed and dumped at the site, most likely by illegal hunters.

"They were too far decayed for me to say they were shot, but the way they were dumped suggests they were illegally killed," he said.

"I was quite shocked because a red-necked wallaby is a fairly inoffensive animal.

"Why would anyone want to kill them?"

Dr Clancy said it was the first time he had seen evidence of wilful harm to wildlife in the Coutts Crossing area.

Under the National Parks Act it is illegal to harm wildlife without a permit, and penalties for doing so can be significant.

National Park Lawrence Orel said while it may be too late for National Parks to investigate this particular matter, it was important for people to recognise all wildlife was protected.

"As (Dr Clancy) has done, people should report any suspected illegal activity in relation to wildlife," he said.

In regards to reports of road kill in the Clarence Valley, Mr Orel said dry conditions could increase risks for motorists and wildlife as fresh shoots of grass, known as "green pick", drew animals to the roadside.

"As conditions dry out that's one of the things you'll often see... so people need to be extra vigilant, particularly at dusk and dawn," he said.



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