Ruckus over a roo shoo

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
David Macdonald photographed this friendly Kangaroo affectionately known as Brutus.
Camera IconDavid Macdonald photographed this friendly Kangaroo affectionately known as Brutus. Credit: RegionalHUB

A venture to protect the environment has caused tension between a popular local conservationist and the Capel Land Conservation District Committee over a cancelled “Roo Shoo” at Ludlow’s fenced enclosure.

The shoo was organised to remove three kangaroos from a fenced enclosure in the northern section of the Ludlow Tuart Forest in an attempt to protect wildflowers, but animal rights activists halted the event.

Due to the cancellation, Busselton Naturalist Club president and environmentalist Bernie Masters said he would no longer be involved with the enclosure.

“I’m extremely disappointed with the Capel LCDC ... for cancelling the Roo Shoo in the face of a minor amount of pressure from a couple of rabid animal rights activists who know absolutely nothing about the natural environment,” he said.

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“I’ve received about 20 emails from people who were upset or disappointed at the cancellation.”

Despite understanding the need for the shoo, Capel LCDC secretary Bronwyn Mutton said she still thought it was the right decision to cancel the event.

“There was too much discussion over ‘roo shooing’ ... and people seem to be more focused on saving kangaroos and ignoring the damage that they do to plants, insects, birds and the ecosystem,” she said.

“There were too many unknowns and it had gotten too big and too out-of-hand and too controversial.

“I have high respect for Bernie and I will continue to have high respect for him. I’m very sorry that it has caused so much trouble.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions said the event should have been able to go ahead.

“The kangaroos should be able to be encouraged to move through a prepared temporary gap in the fence around the Capel LCDC enclosure without being harmed,” they said.

“The use of lightweight one-way swing gates commonly referred to as ‘roo gates’ positioned in the corners of the enclosure is also recommended.”

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