A Victorian golf course says its plan to slaughter kangaroos living on the greens has been abandoned following community pressure.
Instead, Heritage Golf and Country Club say they are in talks with council and the state government to relocate the animals into the Warrandyte State Forest, which borders their Chirnside Park course.
Wildlife Victoria say they want to ensure the announcement does not deflect focus away from an ongoing investigation into a spate of kangaroo deaths at the property.
Wildlife Victoria dismiss club's concerns about kangaroo numbers
Heritage appointed a new management team after the planned cull made national news.
They say that number of kangaroos on the golf course have tripled in 12 months and point to a "breeding surge", however Wildlife Victoria say a tripling of numbers is biologically impossible.
The golf course says there are just too many kangaroos, and they have to go.
“The reality is we’re running a golf park, we’re not running a nature reserves,” a Heritage spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
Heritage say they fear kangaroos could harm visitors
The club's new managing director Dr Cher Coad said in a statement the decision not to cull shows they are listening to their members and the community, but that the kangaroos are "powerful and potentially dangerous."
“The last thing we want is for a large grey kangaroo to cause harm to a golfer or children visiting their grandparents," she said
“If the Victorian state government was doing its job, in terms of managing the land bordering the Heritage Golf and Country Club, then we wouldn’t have this problem."
Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma said her organisation is unaware of any reports of kangaroos being aggressive towards people at the site.
“Some of the larger male kangaroos are known by the locals to be peaceful creatures, who enjoy the natural habitat of the local landscape," she said.
How did we get here?
In particular, it was feared that a Kangaroo named Big Al or Scarface, who featured in the community’s calendar would be shot is he is friendly towards humans.
It remained unclear whether Heritage would go ahead with the cull, or if any culling took place as Heritage has not responded to repeated requests for contact.
What’s happened since?
Large numbers of dead and injured kangaroos were found Heritage in the weeks following the community protest.
Dogs were seized by council at the property, but later released.
Ms Palma said in June the numbers were “disproportionate” when compared with other sites and that she would offer her volunteers counselling to deal with the trauma.
Police were called to the course on a number of occasions, including after an injured kangaroo which wildlife rescuers were attending to went missing.
The Department of Environment (DELWP) announced in July that they were investigating “alleged fatal and harmful dog attacks on kangaroos” at the site.
"Victoria Police and local councils are assisting the Conservation Regulator with the investigation," they said
"Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers are conducting patrols in the area."
More about the Heritage kangaroo saga
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