UNDER THREAT: Minden residents have grown concerned by the number of dead and injured egrets they have found across Jesse Wickman Park.
UNDER THREAT: Minden residents have grown concerned by the number of dead and injured egrets they have found across Jesse Wickman Park. Inga Williams

Humans to blame for "slaughter" of egrets at Minden park?

SOMERSET Animal Disaster coordinator Anna McNally believes people are to blame for the recent "slaughter" of egret birds at a park in Minden.

Ms McNally was called to Jesse Wickman Park after dozens of wounded and dead egrets were found scattered throughout the parkland.

The discovery was made by local couple Jayne and Allan Payne as they drove past the park on Lowood-Minden Rd.

Mrs Payne said she noticed a baby egret with a broken wing and was startled to discover more birds with similar injuries.

Jesse Wickman Park has long been home to hundreds of egrets, which flock to the park each year to breed and raise their young before flying away for the winter.

The white-coloured birds, with golden plumes in season, attract many wildlife observers and photographers.

Mrs Payne said she immediately phoned RSPCA and was forwarded onto Ms McNally, who carried out investigations.

Ms McNally said many of the egrets at Jesse Wickman Park seemed extremely wary and frightened of humans - a trait uncommon in egrets.

She said she found about 30 dead birds strewed about the park and described the scene as a "slaughterhouse".

Based on her investigations, Ms McNally said there was evidence of human involvement in the death of some of the egrets.

Minden residents have been concerned by the amount of dead and injured egrets they have found around the Minden Lagoon. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Minden residents have been concerned by the amount of dead and injured egrets they have found around the Minden Lagoon. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

"Some of the dead birds were found by the side of the road, which would suggest they were hit by passing cars," she said.

"Others however were killed near the waterline and had showed no signs of being attacked by foxes or cats.

"Something very nasty is going on."

The park is located in close proximity to a school and a pub and it is understood that the egrets aren't popular with everyone during the breeding season.

Ms McNally, who also an advocate for a watchdog system of the park, said support from community members and signage was vital in protecting the local wildlife.

RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty urged people to contact RSPCA is they had any information in regards to people attacking the egrets.

The number to phone is 1300 ANIMAL.

Serious animal cruelty offences committed in Queensland carry a maximum penalty of seven years jail.



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