The pets becoming koala killing machines
THIS dog looks on fearfully as he sits caught by a trap, about to meet his fate.
He was once someone's pet. Then he was abandoned in the bush and became one of scores of feral dogs leaving a trail of dead koala, wallabies and kangaroos.
Feral dogs are contributing to the destruction of native animals in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Vets, pest controllers and scientists said it had become a "monumental" problem with one dog capable of killing three koalas a week.
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Feral animal exterminators said they called to more 20 jobs each month but rarely follow through with the work because residents don't believe the problem is their responsibility.
Council pest controllers have killed 66 foxes and 35 wild dogs in the past year as part of its annual trapping program.
"Feral animals in Australia are a massive problem," Dreamworld life sciences general manager Al Mucci said.
"The problem is monumental. Wild dogs and feral cats have a devastating impact on native wildlife.
"A wild dog could kill up to two or three koalas per week and an experienced dog will sit underneath a tree which a koala in it and wait for it to come down."
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital's Dr Michael Pyne said the feral pests were "everywhere".
"You can't really escape wild dogs. They kill for fun, it's fun for them to do, it's hardwired into them so they'll take down koalas, kangaroos or wallabies."
Dr Pyne said the dogs were so efficient his hospital rarely saw marsupial survivors.
"They have the pack mentality so when there's a few of them together they egg each other on.
"It's frighting how many native animals they kill each year.
"We only really see reptiles. They're a lot tougher.
"I think we would only see the tip of the iceberg. A lot of the animals would be killed on the spot. A week would never go past where we don't see a dog or cat attack on native animals."