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Mystery of 'gruesome' park finds finally solved as dog owners fear the worst

An animal expert has revealed the truth about unsettling discoveries in Sydney parks.

A Sydney vet clinic has revealed the truth behind a series of mysterious discoveries in local parks, which pet owners believed were poison baits intended to harm dogs.

Throughout 2023, Sydney residents and vets alike have posted warnings to dog owners on social media, sharing images of entrails found in parks they speculated were laced with poison.

"I've shown several vets but no one has any idea what it could be," warned one concerned Facebook user alongside a photo of a suspected bait found in a Bondi reserve.

Entrails found in Sydney park suspected to be poison dog bait
Dog owners have been on high alert as suspicious entrails continue to show up in Sydney parks. Source: Facebook

Similar substances were found earlier this month at Bardwell Valley Golf Club, prompting Earlwood Animal Hospital to issue an alert and treat a dog for suspected poisoning.

Mystery solved

Now, the mystery surrounding the strange discoveries has finally been solved thanks to an expert who examined the incidents.

In a statement posted on Facebook yesterday, Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic's Dr Sam Kovac said a "veterinary anatomist friend" confirmed the sightings were not poison baits, but simply meat dropped by nocturnal birds.

"We have been notified by many concerned clients throughout the Inner West and Eastern Suburbs of Sydney with macabre, gruesome images of entrails found in local parks that could be poisoned," the statement reads.

Bright green substance explained

Suggesting readers could breathe a sigh of relief, Dr Kovacs went on to explain that as more marsupials like ringtail possums return to urban areas following successful "wilding" programs, they're targeted by predatory birds.

Entrails found in Sydney park suspected to be poison dog bait
Predatory birds such as owls prefer to eat a prey's flesh and discard the guts. Source: Facebook

"Naturally, the cycle of life continues and the predators of these creatures need to eat, so more urban predators like powerful owls are also flourishing and nesting in much greater numbers in Sydney currently (which is great!)," the statement continues.

"These owls often drop the guts and internal organs onto the ground as they prefer to eat the flesh of the creatures they hunt and these entrails (often full of bright green chlorophyll-rich plant material their prey has eaten) can be seen in our local dog parks."

Be alert, not alarmed

However, the clinic reminded dog owners to remain vigilant, as poison baiting does occur in Sydney parks. "Like always, watch what your dogs are getting into, don't be distracted when meeting up at your local dog park with friends and just exercise the normal precautions," Dr Kovacs stated.

As for the entrails, Dr Kovacs advised against letting dogs consume them. "Even if they're not poisoned, while entrails of local wildlife are delicious for your pet, they could also carry parasites, so best not to let them eat them," he added.

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