ANIMAL protection group Save the Kangaroos of the Mornington Peninsula wants community help to get a large mob of kangaroos off a Cape Schanck private property before they are killed.
The nine-month saga of the Cape Schanck kangaroos continues, with kangaroo numbers reportedly growing as they access the fenced, private property through several gaps recently made in the fence.
Around 500 kangaroos have made their home on the 176-hectare property, which abuts Greens Bush national park and is owned by Mornington Peninsula horse racing figure Jonathan Munz.
Groups frustrated with the lack of progress in the kangaroos’ release say it might be up to the community to step in to ensure the animals’ safety.
Spokesperson Mary waterman said communication between themselves and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and property manager Kenneth Neff continued to “go around in circles”.
“Meanwhile, the kangaroos will leave but then return to be with the rest of their mob. We need one-way gates to keep them out and safe from being killed,” she said.
“We will not rest until all the kangaroos are safely off this property.
“If DELWP and the [Mornington Peninsula Shire] council cannot protect our iconic kangaroos, we will, and we welcome members of our community to support us, to free our Australian wildlife and return them back into Greens Bush where they belong.”
Animals Australia said it would continue to monitor the situation and take “all necessary action” to ensure the kangaroos were humanely released.
Legal counsel for Animals Australia, Satha Hamade, said there was a “humane” solution for the trapped kangaroos, and that another kill permit, on top of the one once issued and then rescinded, was not the answer.
She said evidence had been provided to DELWP by Animals Australia regarding appropriate humane release methods, as provided by macropod experts and ecologist experts.
“Further, any claim by DELWP that the kangaroos pose an over-population or welfare risk in the region has been founded on extrapolated flawed data sets and a lack of credible evidence,” she said.
“Animals Australia has also provided DELWP with recent, extensive and sophisticated mob count data for the region which shows that the mob counts by DELWP are grossly inflated”.
On 20 December 2021, Animals Australia commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against DELWP, seeking to quash the decision of DELWP to grant a permit for the culling of the Cape Schanck kangaroos.
Shortly before the court hearing DELWP decided to cancel the kill permit.
Ms Hamade said there was now “nothing” preventing the land manager Kenneth Neff from installing appropriate one-sided gates to allow the gradual humane release of the kangaroos to unfold.
However, Mr Neff told The News he was aware that DELWP was prepared to install the one-way gates, but he did not think they would work.
He said the best outcome would be to herd the animals out, but that he was not allowed to under DELWP’s anti-herding regulations.
“The best hope is that now that I have opened holes in the fences, there is a path out and a chance, that with a little help, the kangaroos will leave.”
Mr Neff estimated kangaroo numbers on the property had increased to about 600 since he opened up three exit points in the fences.
“I don’t want to shoot them, but there may be no other choice if they don’t leave,” he said.