Sydney wildlife caught in 'heinous' Australia Day act

·Environment Editor
·2-min read

Water dragons have been found shot with projectiles at a NSW park after an Australia Day attack wildlife carers are calling a “heinous act”.

Rescuers gave up their public holiday to wade through Warriewood Wetlands’ murky waters on Sydney’s Northern Beaches after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Sydney Wildlife Rescue’s reptile coordinator Lynleigh Greig told Yahoo News Australia that multiple reptiles have been shot and unconfirmed reports indicate water birds may have also been injured.

Wildlife rescuers were shocked to find multiple lizards pierced with darts. Source: Sydney Wildlife Rescue
Wildlife rescuers were shocked to find multiple lizards pierced with darts. Source: Sydney Wildlife Rescue

One water dragon found with three darts piercing its head and body received veterinary care from the voluntary rescue centre’s mobile care unit, with support from Collaroy vet.

Ms Greig said she was particularly dismayed that the alleged incident occurred within a sanctuary that had been set up for wildlife to flourish.

Search for lizards shot with 'awful little darts'

Having examined multiple plastic and metal darts left strewn across the area, rescuers believe they were most likely shot from a blow-pipe or blow-gun.

“Someone's obviously sat there, scoped them out, and then shot them with these awful little darts,” Ms Greig said.

“One lizard had one straight through its neck, so that had to be removed by a veterinarian. It was pretty horrible stuff.”

Rescuers afraid to release lizards until perpetrators caught

Sydney Wildlife Rescue said at least six lizards are known to have been shot, but rescuers have been unable to catch all of them.

One lizard required veterinary treatment due to the nature of its wound. Source: Sydney Wildlife Rescue
One lizard required veterinary treatment due to the nature of its wound. Source: Sydney Wildlife Rescue

Until those responsible are found, wildlife rescuers will remain nervous about releasing the lizards back into the area.

“Hopefully we'll be able to track these people down,” Ms Greig said.

“The worst part about it was that it was done on Australia Day and it’s a heinous act to to commit on an Indigenous Australian animal.”

Local authorities and the RSPCA have been informed of the attack, and anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Sydney Wildlife Rescue is a voluntary service and donations can be made here.

NSW Police said the darts measured 2cm to 3cm in length.

"Police were alerted and an investigation commenced with the red plastic-tipped darts seized for further examination," police said.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact Northern Beaches Police on 9971 3399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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