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August 12, 2013
THREE violent killings of koalas in as many days in suburban backyards last week have caused concern from a leading wildlife conservationist.
Cheyne Flanagan is a supervisor at Port Macquarie’s Koala Hospital who attended multiple dog attacks last week.
A Staffordshire bull terrier (staffy) was responsible for the first attack which occurred on Tuesday in the backyard of a residence on Reading Street.
A Bullmastiff Staffy cross canine attacked a koala in a yard off Oceanview Terrace in Lighthouse Beach on Wednesday.
The following day another koala was crossing a yard in a residence on The Boom in Clifton when it was set upon by another Bullmastiff Staffy cross. The koalas in all three incidents were killed.
“I would say 80 per cent of the attacks by dogs we see are by Staffy breeds,” Ms Flanagan said on Friday.
“All three of the koalas were young healthy males so it’s a big loss.”
Males are more likely to be crossing yards and other spaces because the marsupials’ breeding season is well advanced, Ms Flanagan said.
The concerned conservationist suggested some simple measures for dog owners to avoid any repeat of last week’s horrific attacks.
“If it’s possible dogs should be locked up at night,” Ms Flanagan said.
“Please let us know, at any time of day or night, if there is a koala in your yard and we will come.”
“It’s also worth considering putting a muzzle on your dog, even if they are there for protection.”
Ms Flanagan reinforced it was a basic expectation dogs be kept on leads when in parks and reserves koalas were known to inhabit.
“Something else people can try is planting koala food trees in their front yard,” she said.
Story By Ben CooperAug. 12, 2013, 4 a.m.