DOG owners are being urged to keep their animals contained in their yards after a recent spate of fatal dog attacks on koalas.
Clarence Valley Council have released the graphic image of a koala's injuries sustained during a dog attack in Waterview Heights in September to highlight the problem. The koala was taken for specialist care to Currumbin Wildlife hospital but died last week from its injuries.
In the past six months there have been two fatal dog attacks on koalas in Waterview Heights, and Clarence Valley Council environment services co-ordinator Rod Wright said dog owners in areas populated by koalas such as Waterview Heights, Seelands, Coutts Crossing, Ahsby, Iluka and Lawrence need to take measures to make sure their pets don't have the opportunity to attack koalas.
"We're putting the focus on responsible pet ownership at the moment, we're not really sure if it was a domestic dog or a wild dog (responsible for the attacks) but we are of the suspicion it's a domestic dog roaming uncontrolled at night," he said.
"Council has got an adopted plan and we're looking to do some more work on the koala populations.
"At this time of the year we're seeing more koala movement, especially by juvenile males who are looking for new territory, so they're particularly vulnerable when they're on the ground and moving about."
Mr Wright said dog owners should keep their pets properly restrained while on walks and should ensure their property is secured between sunset and sunrise when koalas are more likely to be active.
"It's what dog owners are supposed to do legally anyway, but some might have an open gate policy and not know what their dogs get up to at night," he said.
"Containing your dog during this time will allow koalas and other wildlife to move about safely.
"People may think their dogs are fine at home, but when they're let out at night and is away from everyone they might be completely different, so everyone who owns a dog needs to take responsibility for their animals."
Mr Wright said council has information on exclusion fences that can keep your dog in and koalas out. Contact council on 6643 0200 for further details.
WIRES conducted the recent rescue of the injured koala with the assistance of council's cherry picker. WIRES are searching for additional carers, contact 1300 094 737 for more information.
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