The Australian National University campus at Kioloa will not say if it has already silently culled 90 of an estimated local population of 700 eastern grey kangaroos on its property.
Australian Society for Kangaroos President Nikki Sutterby has been observing the public reaction from her location in Victoria.
“I have had no advice about whether the cull has occurred yet, but they may have a permit to use silencers because it's a sensitive issue, so [people] may not know if it has happened,” she told the Times.
Bawley Point and Kioloa residents have also been watching a cat and mouse game over hand painted anti-kangaroo culling signs for the past month.
Street signs first appeared at the main T intersection coming into the village where Bawley Point Road meets Murramurang Road.
A social conscience contest of aesthetics versus animal activism began.
Kathleen Forrester commented first on the local Community Association Facebook page: “I’m not sure about everyone else but the horrible sign needs to be picked up by whom [sic] put it there.”
“ANU don’t kill our roos in red spray paint is hardly what people want to see driving into our beautiful town,” she posted.
“I understand everyone has personal opinions about the roo culling, but that sign is disgusting and needs to be removed.”
Someone put it behind a nearby tree. Then somebody put it back. The tussle went on. The location shifted.
Now two signs, blood red on a white background, on the left side of Murramarang Road heading towards Kioloa have recently been prominent.
“ANU the cull is cruelty” says one up a tree just past the sand mines car park.
“ANU stop the roo slaughter” says the other on the ground against a fence corner strainer just past Racecourse Beach Tourist Park on the corner of ANU land.
Facebook opinions mostly back the roos, on the page specifically dedicated to the topic - Don’t kill our roos Kioloa 2016 - noting particularly that, as the National Parks and Wildlife Service said after issuing the permit, culling 90 roos will have a small effect on the total population in the district.
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