A posse of armed rangers will continue their hunt around Cudgen Nature Reserve and adjoining beach areas today and tomorrow for a dangerous wild dog which has evaded trapping experts in the past week, and the public is warned to stay clear.
Areas of the reserve and accesses to nearby beaches at Casuarina and Cabarita have been closed for public safety while trapping and shooting is carried out by rangers from Tweed Shire Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service and North Coast Local Land Services.
The hunt follows the killing a few weeks ago of a small pet dog by a wild dog as its owners walked it near dunes in the area and the stalking of an elderly woman by a pack of wild dogs along the beach from Casuarina to Cabarita.
It’s also feared wild and domestic dogs which have gone feral will decimate the dwindling koala population of the reserve and surrounds.
To help the eradication program, the government agencies will enforce the closure of beach accesses and vegetated areas between the southern end of Casuarina and the northern end of Bogangar/Cabarita Beach till 2pm Thursday, 2 April (see map).
Council’s director of community and natural resources, Tracey Stinson, said there was ‘real danger here and the public and their pets must stay out of this area while it is closed’.
‘Not only do we have a hungry and dangerous wild dog loose somewhere in this zone, you, your child or your dog could be caught in a trap if you enter in the next three days,’ Ms Stinson said.
‘Unfortunately, members of the public have ignored previous signage and warnings and continued to walk through and take their dogs into the exclusion zone where we have tried to catch the wild dogs.
‘We have now had to take the extreme measure of closing the area off completely while we catch the remaining wild dog, as the contracted trapper could not operate while members of the public ignored all warnings and continued to walk through the area.
‘We will have security guards at beach accesses around the clock, fences barring access and increased signage to make sure people stay away,’ Ms Stinson said.
The NPWS’ regional pest management officer, Lisa Wellman, said residents needed to remain vigilant about wild dogs in the area.
‘People need to keep their own animals away from the area and on a leash at all times. They should report any sightings of wild dogs to either the NPWS or Tweed Shire Council,’ Ms Wellman said.
Local Land Services spokesman, Neil Hing, said two wild dogs were caught recently in this area and a third remaining dog was believed to be still in the vicinity.
‘It is important that we trap this wild dog in the three-day closure period as Easter is coming and we want to be able to confidently open access to the beaches,’ Mr Hing said.
Access to the public will be restored on Thursday, 2 April, at 11am (NSW). For more information about the closure, call 02 6670 2400.