HABI­TAT ON THE MEND

Habi­tat re­cov­er­ing from dog at­tacks, but one man is ask­ing ques­tions

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Scott Tib­balls

DE­SPITE the stress and trauma of last weeks dog at­tack at the Wildlife Habi­tat, man­ager Clare An­der­son said there were no hard feel­ings to­wards the owner of the an­i­mals.

“We don’t wish any ill upon those dogs,” said Ms An­der­son.

Seven an­i­mals were killed in the small hours of Wed­nes­day morn­ing last week by two lo­cal dogs that man­aged to get into the sa­van­nah en­clo­sure at the pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion.

Ms An­der­son said while there had been fears for more an­i­mals dy­ing of stress re­lated con­di­tions after the at­tack, so far none had died.

“We haven’t lost any more, which at this stage is re­mark­able. We’re still mon­i­tor­ing, and there’s still risk.”

The 20 an­i­mals that were phys­i­cally in­jured con­tinue to re­ceive vet­eri­nary at­ten­tion, and the whole pop­u­la­tion is be­ing mon­i­tored for any longterm ef­fects.

“There’s a def­i­nite pos­i­tive change in them since the first day. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’ll get there.”

Staff at the park had been spend­ing plenty of time with the an­i­mals that were in the en­clo­sure with the dogs.

“All the staff are tak­ing the time to stop and give the ani- mals one-on-one at­ten­tion,” she said.

The sa­van­nah en­clo­sure had been kept closed to guests up un­til Tues­day this week, and Ms An­der­son said vis­i­tors were un­der­stand­ing of the sit­u­a­tion, and the clo­sure had not af­fected busi­ness.

As a re­sult of the at­tack, and after a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been car­ried out Ms An­der­son said there may be some changes to the Habi­tat layout and bound­aries to pre­vent any­thing sim­i­lar hap­pen­ing.

“We’ll be work­ing on up­grad­ing what we have – safe­guard­ing the park.”

On the cul­prit dogs be­hind the deaths of the seven an­i­mals, Ms An­der­son said the Habi­tat wouldn’t be seek­ing fur­ther ac­tion against them or their own­ers.

We’ll be work­ing on up­grad­ing what we have – safe­guard­ing the park

Clare An­der­son, man­ager

Pic­tures: SCOTT TIB­BALLS

Man­ager of Wildlife Habi­tat Port Dou­glas Clare An­der­son with one of the in­jured east­ern grey kan­ga­roos, now on the mend

Port Dou­glas man Jon Per­rin, whose back­yard bor­ders the Wildlife Habi­tat, heard the ruckus at the Wildlife Habi­tat early in the morn­ing, but no­body re­sponded to his calls for help for hours

Wildlife Habi­tat, Port Dou­glas.

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