THE man hired to shoot kangaroos at the RACV’s Cape Schanck golf club early last Thursday morning says he had a valid government permit.
Leigh Swan of Rosebud, a professional shooter for 30 years, was the centre of controversy on Friday when news of the cull hit the airwaves. He is angry his actions drew so much negative publicity – especially on talk-back radio.
Mr Swan said he had a big male kangaroo in his sights and was considering his options when his day was abruptly brought to a premature end.
“I want to get the story correct: I’ve had about 40 emails and about 50 texts and it’s been a big day,” he told The News last Friday afternoon.
“I did not take a shot at the roos.
“When they saw me they took off. I took the clip out and put the gun down because there was a house in the background.
“I am disgusted because I have been reading so much crap about this. I’ve read that people saw me shoot [at the roos] but I did not fire a shot.
“Safety is paramount and I do not fire crap shots. I know the greenies don’t like it but it’s my job – and I do a lot of golf courses.
“I had been planning the cull for two days and was just trying to finish the job.
“I don’t want to get into the politics of this; I am distressed because people are lying about it and I have already seen my solicitor.”
Mr Swan said had been contracted by RACV resort management and regarded the cull as just another day on the job. “I do most of the professional shooting on the Mornington Peninsula,” he said.
“My aim was to take out the big male because he has five females and, in the next year or so, there will be 12 or more roos.
“They will do a lot of damage and the male is a monster. I saw them sunning themselves and that’s when I wanted to get the big bugger.”
Mr Swan said he had spoken with golf course management about “our options”.
“If we don’t get rid of the big male there will be trouble in future,” he said.