Yanchep: relocated kangaroos causing concerns

Pictures: Bruce Hunt
Yanchep: relocated kangaroos causing concerns
Pictures: Bruce Hunt

A MOB of kangaroos that were relocated from a Yanchep estate have been left in a vacant sandy area without food or water, according to members of a wildlife care group.

The City of Wanneroo co-ordinated the relocation of about 60 kangaroos from St Andrews Park late last month, with contractor Terrestrial Ecosystems moving them to nearby bushland.

However, Northern Valleys Wildlife Support Group carer Sonia Cooke said soon afterwards she and other carers began receiving reports from Yanchep residents of sick and dead kangaroos.

“The first we heard about it was an early morning call from a St Andrews (Estate) resident saying there were people walking around the estate shooting the kangaroos,” she said.

“The company told us and other residents they were taking them to the (Yanchep) national park; they didn’t.”

Two Rocks veterinary student Mahala Panegyres said they found a mob of kangaroos on undeveloped land owned by developer Peet, west of the national park, without access to food or water, as well as three dead animals in the suburb.

Another kangaroo and a joey later had to be euthanised.

“I think the council needs to take responsibility and come put water out for them,” she said.

“They’re going to die over summer if the council don’t do anything.

“It’s up to volunteers to come out and help out if they care about the animals.”

Ms Cooke said she was concerned about where the kangaroos were moved.

“It is morally wrong to relocate urban kangaroos to an area with no water source or food they are used to and at the worst time of year,” she said.

The City of Wanneroo released a statement that said it continued to act as a facilitator to address the issue of “kangaroos gathering in increasingly high numbers in residential parts of Yanchep” and they were not relocated to sand dunes but made their way independently from nearby bushland where they were initially released.

Acting chief executive Harminder Singh said the City engaged specialist contractors experienced in fauna management.

“However after trialling the relocation, we found it was not successful as new kangaroos were entering the area at a faster rate than they could be removed,” he said.

Mr Singh said they had met with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and adjoining land developers to create long-term solutions to manage the situation as “compassionately and safely as possible”.

“The challenge is to find a balance between protecting the welfare of the kangaroos while also recognising that they are wild animals in an urban environment,” he said.

“As natural bush animals, kangaroos will find non-urban food and water sources.”

But upon advice from the department, the City expects to install two water stations on land north of Sun City Country Club by Fridayevening.

Peet managing director Brendan Gore said they were arranging access to the kangaroos for residents and carers to provide additional water.

“(Peet) is also in discussions with council aimed at achieving a more sustainable solution for these and other kangaroos in the area,” he said.

According to the department, the landowner was responsible for managing kangaroos on their land and its role was to provide advice only.

A spokeswoman said the animals were highly mobile and would move to where food and water was, and confirmed they could have been taken to the national park.

Ms Cooke said the group would be advocating for policies regarding fauna relocation operations and development approvals to change.

She also rejected the City’s assertion the Yanchep kangaroos were wild animals.

“They are not, they have been born and bred in suburbia, and their bodies are not accustomed to coping without water as wild ones are which is why so many are dying through dehydration and starvation,” she said.

The City and Terrestrial Ecosystems agreed to end their contract on December 2 because the kangaroos had found an alternative way into the estate.

The relocation company did not respond to questions.