Jenny, who did not wish her surname to be printed, was strolling into the Beelu National Park, near her home 34km east of Perth, and went for a walk near Mundaring Weir on Monday evening.
“I walk every day to connect with nature and get sun,” the local business owner told Yahoo News Australia.
“Particularly at the moment with COVID-19, I’m looking for different bush walks to keep stimulated with my exercise.”
Jenny paused to meditate and as she cleared her mind and focused her attention on the bird song, something did not feel right.
Moments after opening her eyes and finishing her exercise, she noticed a large steel cage about 1.5 metres high nearby with a dark object inside it.
“I was on my own and from a distance I could see that there was something in the cage,” she said.
“I didn’t know what was in the cage so I clambered down to have a look.
“Then I could see that it was dead.”
Government investigates kangaroo’s death after photos emerge
While cages similar to these can be used to trap pigs, Jenny says neither she or her husband had seen a wild boar in the seven years they’d lived in the area.
What she found dead inside was an animal she sees much more frequently: a large, female kangaroo – eyes open and pouch protruding.
Jenny rushed home to grab her phone and then immediately began taking photographs of the “horrifying” find.
First of all, Jenny snapped a series of images of the dead animal – her body slightly contorted and her face pushed out between a gap in the metal bars.
Despite noticing that the cage was open at the back, the kangaroo had died inside.
She photographed the pellets scattered across the cage’s mesh flooring. They appeared to Jenny to resemble typical animal feed.
Wanting to find out what they were, she bagged some up to have them analysed.
Jenny said she was an animal lover who even put spiders outside instead of squishing them and often helped injured joeys on the side of the road.
Her find was compounded by her husband finding another dead kangaroo just 200 metres away in the national park on Sunday.
“I don’t kill anything,” she said.
“This is a very emotive thing for me – it’s a heartbreaking thing for me.
“I was traumatised by it.”
Finally, Jenny photographed a sign tied on the top with metal cage.
“DPAW. Property of Western Australian Government. Do not touch surveillance cameras in use. Severe penalties will apply,” it read.
Jenny said she respected the work of the local national parks officers and just wanted to get to the bottom of her find.
“I did make a promise to the dead kangaroo that I’d fight for her,” she said.
Trap design to be reviewed
Following questions from Yahoo News Australia, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) Parks and Wildlife Service (DPAW) issued a statement, saying they investigated the trap.
“The trap was located in the Reservoir Protection Zone of Mundaring Weir (Lake C Y O’Connor) and routinely used for feral pig trapping as part of ongoing efforts to reduce pig activity in important drinking water catchments,” a DBCA spokesperson said.
“The trap was last checked by Parks and Wildlife Service staff on Friday April 3, 2020. It was in the locked open position as part of pre feeding, which occurs prior to the traps being set.
“Following today’s investigation, it appears the kangaroo accessed the trap and became stuck in the mesh. The door was still in the locked open position.
“This is something that has not been recorded before, despite the Parks and Wildlife Service having used this technique for decades.
“Based on this event, DBCA will be reviewing the trap design to reduce the likelihood of this occurring in the future.”
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