THE DEATH of a kangaroo after it became trapped in a Metgasco holding pond on Wednesday has highlighted the danger to wildlife of the plastic-lined ponds, according to a volunteer who went to its rescue.
"The problem with the settling pond is it's lined with black plastic and (has) sloping sides. If anything gets in there it can't escape; it's just like a deadly slippery dip," WIRES volunteer Melanie Barsony said.
The kangaroo was spotted by anti-CSG volunteers operating a surveillance van to monitor Metgasco activities.
Kyogle resident Sarah Antill said the kangaroo was visibly distressed. Wildlife rescue service WIRES and Metgasco were phoned immediately.
"We would have liked to help but we didn't have permission to go into the property," Dr Antill said.
According to Dr Antill, when two Metgasco staff arrived one of them walked into the evaporation pond and tried unsuccessfully to "shoo" the animal out.
Ms Barsony was later able to retrieve the animal with the help of the staff by wrapping it in several sheets.
Having by then fallen victim to a deadly condition called myopathy which causes the muscles of distressed macropods to break down, the animal was taken to a Casino vet to be euthanised.
Ms Barsony estimated the kangaroo spent a good part of the night trying to escape.
"Myopathy can take anywhere from two days to two weeks to kill a macropod and is notorious as a slow, painful death," Ms Barsony said.
"In this case it appears the animal became distressed after having repeatedly tried to go up the slippery bank."
Metgasco's dams are fenced to prevent livestock from entering and it remains unclear how the kangaroo entered the area.
"This is an unfortunate accident, but not an uncommon occurrence on farms when water in dams drops to low levels," a Metgasco spokesperson said.
"I would like to commend the work of WIRES and look forward to them addressing our staff on how best to manage wildlife."
If you see any distressed animals please call the WIRES hotline 02 6628 1898.
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