Salt, Casuarina cycleways off limits after wild dog attacks
UPDATE: Monday 1.21pm:
One of the feral dogs being targeted in the Casuarina area was trapped this morning near the Wollumbin Scout Camp through a trapping program being run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Cudgen Nature Reserve.
The trapping program has also been expanded to include both Council-managed land and private property.
UPDATE: Wednesday, 11am: In Saturday's Tweed Daily News we'll have an interview with a family who lost their dog to what they say was a dingo at Casuarina.
They fear for the safety of children.
We'll also speak with an elderly woman who said she was hunted by a pack of wild dogs on the beach and had to escape into the ocean.
ORIGINAL STORY: Only two weeks after the Tweed Daily News reported on farmers' fears wild dogs could attack children in Pottsville, the public has been told to stay out of coastal bush from Cudgen Creek to Cudgen Nature Reserve and adjacent cycleways.
The council and National Park and Wildlife Service officers are responding to a series of wild dog attacks in the area.
NP&WS had already begun baiting for routine wild dog control on adjacent Crown land, while the council was working with private landholders for control measures on their properties.
The council's director of natural resources Tracey Stinson said the two organisations were now working closely for a "more concerted" control program in Cudgen Nature Reserve and nearby land.
"In the meantime, we are strongly advising people to stay out of the coastal dunes, the native vegetation areas west of Salt Villages and off the cycleways from Cudgen Creek to Cudgen Nature Reserve - north of Cabarita Beach - until the situation has been brought under control," she said.
"That includes both the foreshore cycleway and the western cycleway the runs between Salt Village and Cudgen Creek.
"It is unfortunate that it has come to this, however, the threat posed by these dogs has escalated after this latest attack and we need to warn the public to keep them and their pets safe while we try to manage this situation."
The council received reports of three attacks by dogs on pet dogs between Cudgen Creek and Cabarita Beach in the
past two months.
While the first is believed to have been by a roaming domestic dog, the other two attacks reportedly involved wild dogs.
"Signs were erected last week along the coastal cycleway to advise people it was closed between Cudgen Creek and Salt Village, after the second incident.
"Council will now also urgently install signs warning people to keep away from the coastal bushland from Cudgen Creek to Cudgen Nature Reserve - north of Cabarita Beach - and we urge people to observe that warning until further notice."
An education program for residents has been developed.
This will include signs advising people on how to respond if they encounter a wild dog, in addition to brochures to be delivered to neighbouring residents and information at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/WildDogs.
DOs and DON'Ts:
- Never approach, entice or feed any wild dogs
- If you are approached by wild dogs - stop, fold your arms and back away slowly
- In the unlikely event you are attacked by a wild dog, be as aggressive and loud as you can and, if available, use a
stick to ward them off.
"We are also encouraging people to report any wild dog sightings in that area to Council on (02) 6670 2400," Ms Stinson said.
"Accurate descriptions, including location, size, colour and type of dog will be particularly beneficial to our efforts to
manage the situation. However, we stress again, do not deliberately approach wild dogs."