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Possum Mutilators of Ainslie

By che 19 August 2009 46

[Update – RSPCA ACT has followed on below with the results of what occurred]
[First Filed August 18, 2009 @ 23:38]

RSPCA ACT has put out a statement asking for any witnesses to a number of possum bashings in the Ainslie area on Tuesday afternoon.

    “Late Tuesday afternoon a number of possums were brought to RSPCA by
    government rangers. All were female brush tail possums and all were
    discovered in a park near Ainslie Primary School, in Donaldson and
    Doonkuna St Ainslie. Possums were examined by RSPCA veterinary staff.

    “The possums were all found within 10 metres of each other. Vet
    examination has shown that they have been savagely beaten to death,
    presumably last night. All three were Joey carrying females. It
    appears that the young have been forcibly removed from their pouches
    and teats. Our staff searched the park and found one Joey barely alive
    which has since died. Two joeys are currently unaccounted for.

    “This is a despicable and sickening act of deliberate cruelty and we
    are pleading for someone to come forward who may have seen or heard
    something on Monday evening.”

    Anyone with information can call RSPCA on 1300 4 777 22 or the local police.

[Updated – August 19, 2009 @17:38]

    Further details on findings regarding possum deaths in Ainslie first
    reported yesterday…

    ACT government vets at TAMS underwent an extensive post mortem today.
    Results have shown “extended ill treatment prior to the death” of the
    animals. The animal’s injuries included “drag injuries”, “one has been
    dragged by the tail [or back legs] across hard ground” and “one has
    been tied by a front leg/arm and dragged or swung around”.

    All the possums had “multiple and severe upper body, spinal and facial
    fractures as well as internal injuries.”
    “Needless to say the possums have suffered greatly at the hands of
    their attackers prior to their deaths.”
    The one small Joey recovered had “sustained heavy fractures to the
    spine, jaw and legs, front and rear”. Evidence shows a “shockingly
    brutal and sustained attack on the animals, possibly by more than one
    The matter is currently under joint investigation by RSPCA and TAMS
    with the full support of the AFP.
    Two young joeys are still unaccounted for and if still alive would be
    in grave need of specialist attention by now.
    It is illegal to kill a wild animal under the Nature Conservation Act (ACT).
    Aggravated animal cruelty in the ACT carries with a maximum fine of
    $20,000 and or two years in jail.
    Anyone with any information can contact Crimestoppers, RSPCA, TAMS or the AFP.

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46 Responses to
Possum Mutilators of Ainslie
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lizt 12:04 pm 22 Aug 09

I have to say I’ve been largely disappointed with the rangers. I made another report to them last year when several local possums became imprisoned under our flats when Dept Housing decided to lock them all in- PERMANENTLY!. The male ranger I initially spoke to couldn’t be less interested and told me what I had reported was ‘highly unlikely’! I eventually had to resolve the issue myself as my cat was locked under there with them! I was told that if I was going to receive any assistance at all it would not be until AFTER the weekend, 3 days later.!
On the couple of occasions I requested assistance in rescuing injured wildlife they’ve left me waiting all day with the animal- the most recent I took the day off work- only to never appear, or call, despite my having left my mobile phone number.
I must add that I’ve also dealt with some female rangers who have been extremely helpful-very much appreciated- they’re definitely not ALL bad. Its just a worry when the fate of some animals depends entirely on who you get at the end of the line.

lizt 11:44 am 22 Aug 09

To correct my comment above; I meant to say 10 possums went missing within a ’10 meter’ radius, of my place, over a week long period. I was trying to come up with a conservative estimate but 30 meters is just ridiculous exaggeration!

Thumper 9:08 pm 20 Aug 09


And what will Terrence Higgins do if they are caught?

threepaws 8:11 pm 20 Aug 09

The only thought that brings me some comfort is that there is a special place in hell for people who commit such acts.

I-filed said :

lizt @ 37, that is very disturbing. Such a person might end up killing human beings. I hope the ACT Police, not just the rangers, are investigating this as a serious issue in terms of risk to humans as well as the critters. I think it’s way more than a rangers matter – the police (naturally enough) regard animal cruelty as indicating a psychopath.

There is a lot of research out there about the how people progress from cruelty to animals to violence against humans. If you know someone who has the sort of mindset or attitude that it’s ok to harm animals, be afraid – they need serious psychological intervention.

H1NG0 4:16 pm 20 Aug 09

I might add that both times I pulled over to rescue the dog and the cockatoo, other drivers also pulled over to assist. Unfortunately whoever hit the animals drove off. A lady stopped and gave me an old jumper from her car so I could pick up the cockatoo without it biting me. Its good to know there are people around who will stop for an injured animal and assist. I don’t think there is a shortage of kind people, but there are a few mental people out there who seem to take pleasure in harming others.

smeeagain 11:29 am 20 Aug 09

lizt said :

FINALLY this issue is getting some attention!! I live in Currong Flats and last week found a decapitated possum next to my block, near Donaldson St, which looked like all its fur had been burnt or grazed off, as though it had been run over and carved up- Ill spare you all the horrible details but it had clearly been mutilated by a HUMAN. I occasionally find dead possums which have been attacked by dogs, (a couple of times near the little park mentioned above), but this was NOT a dog attack! I called the rangers last year when no less than 10 or so local possums, which all lived within a 30 meter radius of my flat, disappeared over the span of 1 week!
There are many possums living between Currong Flats and the little park featured in this case and someone has been targeting them for quite some time now. I suspect the reason all the victims described were females in this instance is because they were taken directly from their nests or from one of the possum boxes in that area; males tend to wander and go missing, get hit by cars etc, but females tend to stay in the area where they were born and rarely walk on the ground keeping them relatively safe from predators/accidents.
I hadn’t ment to write so much- I’m just so angry about this. That it has been left to continue for so long now.

Did you report the possum that you found last week? The RSPCA have been putting out media releases fairly often lately about possums (Poisonings in Dickson and Downer) but I don’t remember seeing anything about that one?

If you have any idea who might be responsible, I’m sure they would love to hear from you

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