Dozens of wombats are feared to have died in a shocking case of animal cruelty on a South Australian property.
More than 100 wombats are suspected to have been buried alive as part of a cull, after 30 warrens were filled in on an estate in Murraylands.
Parks and Wildlife officers attended the scene Wednesday and began searching the burrows as part of a major investigation, according to Seven News.
More than 100 wombats are suspected to have died as part of a cull, after 30 warrens were filled in on an property in Murraylands, South Australia
Brigitte Stevens from the Wombat Awareness Associationtold Daily mail Australia she was alerted to the case by a member of the public on August 11.
She then reported the incident to the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, as well as National Resource Management but received no reply.
‘There was a minimum of 30 warrens completely bulldozed. Every warren on the property is flattened,’ she said.
‘There are also more dead wombats outside the property that are likely to have passed from exposure.’
Parks and Wildlife officers attended the scene Wednesday and began searching and removing bodies from the burrows as part of a major investigation
Officers attended the scene wearing masks and carrying shovels, with a statement later declaring they ‘do not believe that any wombats are trapped underground’
In a Facebook post this week, Ms Stevens wrote: ‘There has been no progress when it comes to taking care of these beauties.’
‘Right now, there are wombats and a lot of them buried alive. With at least 30 warrens filled in, as many as 100 wombats are dying.’
Officers attended the scene wearing masks and carrying shovels, seizing the wombat bodies as part of their investigations.
However, a follow-up post to the Wombat Awareness Association’s page stated that they did not inspect all burrows and declared there was ‘no evidence of them being buried alive’ and left the remaining warrens closed.
On Monday, Ms Stevens said she noticed a wombat, who has been nicknamed Bear, with an eye that ‘looked awful’
The DEWNR released a statement on social media Wednesday night, confirming they had visited the property and spoken with the owner.
They stated that they ‘do not believe that any wombats are trapped underground’ but said no other information could be provided.
On Monday, Ms Stevens said she noticed a wombat, who has been nicknamed Bear, with an eye that ‘looked awful’.
‘He was walking very stiff. I put my jumper on him on him and took him back to the sanctuary to be seen by our vet,’ she said.
X-rays revealed he had two bullets lodged in his chest and he also lost his right eye.
Killing a southern hairy-nosed wombat without a proper permit can result in a $2,500 fine or up to six month imprisonment.
Bear (pictured) was struggling to move and was caught in Ms Stevens jumper, but sadly lost his right eye
The wombat was taken to a vet and x-rays revealed he had two bullets lodged in his chest (pictured)