Deniliquin Golf Club has accepted responsibility for a trail of kangaroo blood found on the main Memorial Park oval just hours before a primary school cricket tournament was to be played on the grassed arena last Friday.
Both the club and Edward River Council have assured the community that the incident — the result of a sanctioned kangaroo cull — would not be repeated. The Golf Club also maintain that no kangaroos were culled on the oval.
Blood that had pooled in the licensed shooter’s ute from earlier in the night is believed to have spilled from the tray when herding the animals off the oval.
Golf Club manager Norm Purtill said council was notified of the pending cull, but bookings of the oval during the proposed cull period were not relayed back to the club.
Council general manager Adam McSwain said sharing information on upcoming bookings would now be implemented.
‘‘Norm contacted council and advised us the cull was coming up,’’ Mr McSwain said.
‘‘In the future when we receive any notifications like this, we will make sure to pass on booking information for the oval.’’
Mr Purtill said if the club had been advised of the cricket carnival, the cull would have been postponed.
‘‘We have all learned a lesson from this unfortunate incident,’’ Mr Purtill said.
After the blood was discovered by cricket carnival organisers early on Friday morning, an Edward River Council staff member was flagged down at Memorial Park and rendered immediate assistance.
Sand was placed over all the bloodied patches of grass, and play only began once all the potential health and danger concerns were addressed.
Organisers have since said they were very pleased with the quick response from council staff to resolve the issue.
The cull was organised to reduce the kangaroo numbers in the area. Mr Purtill said without it, kangaroo populations would become dangerously high.
‘‘The golf club initially got a licence for a roo cull in 2016, but due to flooding later in the year it had to be abandoned and our licence expired,’’ he said.
‘‘This year the kangaroos have come back at least three times in numbers.
‘‘While we appreciate their value for tourism and as a community icon, we believe there are now up to 1000 kangaroos that invade the golf course. Just the other night there were about 300 in just one group.
‘‘Some of these kangaroos are very large bucks, and they can be intimidating to golfers and particularly the female golfers.
‘‘In large numbers, these kangaroos also cause damage to the soft greens.
‘‘We want kangaroos in our community and around the club, just not in such large numbers. It can become very dangerous if we don’t address their population growth now.’’
A kangaroo cull licence was issued to the Deniliquin Golf Club by National Parks and Wildlife Service, which indicated permits are only allocated in areas of demonstrated need and where licensed shooters are being used.
The cull was conducted between 9pm on Thursday and just after midnight. Deniliquin Police were notified.
The licensed shooter had a staff member assist him with the cull, to ensure no members of the public were in the area while it was taking place. All kangaroo carcasses were removed from the area.