Five wombats killed, campsite trashed

Information is being sought about those responsible for killing five wombats and vandalising a campsite near Foster.

Information is being sought about those responsible for killing five wombats and vandalising a campsite near Foster.

THE Humane Society International is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for an attack that left five wombats dead at a Strzelecki State Forest campsite.

The five animals are thought to have either been shot or run over by a four-wheel drive.

Humane Society International's head of campaigns in Australia Nicola Beynon described the killings as an "appalling crime" that must result in those responsible being brought must be brought to justice.

The animals were found at a trashed Turtons Creek campsite near Foster, a significant amount of rubbish had been dumped, signs had been destroyed with a shotgun, trees were spray-painted and a timber picnic setting was burnt.

It is believed that those involved were in the campsite area on June 29 or 30.

"Wombats are typically solitary creatures that are nocturnal and are found predominately in the south-eastern parts of Australia," Ms Beynon said.

"Why people would want to attack them is incomprehensible.

"This kind of senseless cruelty to animals should be of the utmost concern for authorities.

"Overwhelming evidence suggests that people who commit acts of violence upon animals also present a high risk of going on to commit violence against humans," she said.

Forest Fire Management Victoria is calling on the community to help catch those responsible for the killings and vandal attacks.

FFMV Gippsland assistant chief fire officer Chris Stephenson said he wanted to hear from people who had noticed suspicious behaviour in the area.

"It's thought that there may have been one or more four-wheel-drive vehicles in the campground area around June 29 or 30," he said.

"Community members are our eyes and ears on the ground, providing valuable information that assists our investigations."

Those with information about this environmental crime, or any similar, should report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, Sale police on 5142 2200 or the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.

Humane Society International is also urging people with information to phone it on 1800 333 737.

Penalties for animal cruelty in Victoria can incur a fine of up to $74,620 and-or two years' imprisonment.

Gippsland Senior
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