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Dog off-leash area removed after koala attack

Posted: 3pm 29 Jul 2020

An off-leash reserve at Petrie will be removed by Moreton Bay Regional Council after a dog killed a baby koala and hospitalised its mother.

Council voted to remove the problematic fencing in Sweeney Reserve just two days after the attack which Mayor Peter Flannery describes as ‘sickening’.

“I am a dog owner and a dog lover, but seeing the photos of these poor koalas sickened me, so I wasn’t prepared for Council to do nothing about it,” the Mayor says.

“Sweeney Reserve is just 1km from The Mill PDA where we’ve successfully increased the local koala population by over 22 per cent per annum in the past three years.

“As a Council it’s devastating for us to be achieving this kind of success and spending millions of dollars in conservation efforts, only to be undermined by an irresponsible dog owner.”

“We will be removing the existing fencing at the Sweeney Reserve dog off-leash park to eliminate any immediate threat on our precious koala population and we will consider building a new dog park away from the koala trees.”

Other off-leash options

The Mayor reminded dog owners there are fenced dog parks at Mungarra Reserve, Petrie and Leis Park, Lawnton.

He says there would be “no leniency for anyone breaking the rules”.

“We’re also in the process of installing signs warning of fines for unrestrained animals outside the off-leash area and we will increase ranger patrols in the area to catch offenders,” the Mayor says.

“I’m asking all dog owners who are doing the right thing to report irresponsible dog owners to Council.

“It is the responsibility of pet owners to maintain effective control of their animal and it’s crucial that we do everything we can to prevent dog attacks on native and endangered species.”

Council’s 2020-21 Budget includes a $1.8 million land buyback initiative to protect wildlife corridors, koala habitat and greenspace.

“Council is doing everything it can to keep koalas safe, but we need the help of locals to ensure these efforts are successful,” he says.

For more local news, head here.

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