Witness describes horror of wombat killing campsite

Published: September 21, 2015

More details are emerging of the horrific incident at a New South Wales camping ground which saw at least 10 wombats deliberately killed.

A witness says he saw a group of men drinking heavily at the at the Bendeela Camping Ground on the banks of the Kangaroo River, about 20 kilometres north of Nowra, before one of the men got into a white four-wheel-drive and mow down the animals. Four of the dead wombats were feeding mothers, and one joey was found alive in its mother’s pouch. The joey, now named Lucky, is being cared for by wildlife experts.

Matthew Thorn told the Illawarra Mercury he watched through the window of his tent as the vehicle changing direction dramatically, did doughnuts and collided with the tree. He said he heard the thump when the vehicle hit wombats.

“We’ve been coming here about 15 years and have never seen anything like this before,” Mr Thorn told the newspaper. “The wombats are quiet and come right up to the campsites. It’s very distressing to see people do that. I was concerned for my safety, my family’s safety and everybody else’s safety. It was very confronting.”

Inspector Sue Charman-Horton, from the Shoalhaven Local Area Command, said animal cruelty was unacceptable and the number of dead wombats suggested a deliberate killing. Police are investigating the animals’ deaths.

Bendeela Camping Ground is a free camp ground which is managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority. Wombats can often be seen grazing by the roadside at dusk.

Richard Woodman, president of Wildlife Rescue South Coast, said the common wombat was not a threatened species but its population was shrinking due to habitat loss. He said he was shocked that  someone would go out of their way to go and kill a wombat for sport or for a thrill.

A NSW Environment department spokesman said anyone found to have deliberately hurt or killed a wombat could be prosecuted under animal cruelty laws as well as under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. Anyone convicted of harming protected fauna faces a maximum fine of $11,000 and up to six months in jail.

  • Have you ever witnessed drunken or dangerous behaviour while camping? Comment below.
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Robyn Davies
6 years ago

I guess the witness was in so much shock he forgot to get the rego number

Rod O
6 years ago

May these mongrels have a slow death starting very soon.

John Reid
6 years ago

Whoever was responsible should pay the highest price and those with him tainted as well. Nothing decent about these low life human beings

Diane May
6 years ago

I felt physically ill when I heard of this cruel act against our Wombats.
I believe the penalty of six months jail and an $11,000 fine is not enough
for this dreadful, heartless behaviour. Those involved should have their licences revoked and vehicles destroyed, just as the lives of the Wombats were destroyed.

Diane May

6 years ago

I used to camp at Bendeela for many years until the hoons and thugs started ruining the place for everyone, it is too close to Nowra and I have found that anything free and easy to get to gets exploited by these anti social drop kicks, Bendeela needs camping fees and a locked gate with the need of a code to gain entry as these types would be put off with paying. used to be a wonderful place to stay, lovely setting with idiots hooning around at all hours


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