A man who shot, stuffed and mounted a French Island koala as a wall decoration in his home, said he did it because it was ‘‘something to do.’’
Seymour Magistrates’ Court heard the man found the koala by the side of a road on the island and then shot it with a .22 rifle, before he stuffed it himself and mounted it.
The Kilmore man, who appeared in court last month, was found guilty of three breaches of the Wildlife Act and placed on a good behaviour bond with the condition that he make a $1000 monetary contribution to the court fund.
The court heard the stuffed and mounted koala was found on the man’s property when Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning officers executed a search warrant in June last year.
Compliance Operations program manager Greg Chant said when the man was interviewed and asked why he killed the koala, he responded it was ‘‘something to do’’.
‘‘We take these matters very seriously and it’s disturbing that somebody would kill a native animal in these circumstances,’’ Mr Chant said.
‘‘We work closely with the RSPCA, Victoria Police and Crime Stoppers to help combat environmental crime.’’
Under the Wildlife Act 1975, the maximum penalty for killing, destroying and being in control of unlawfully taken protected wildlife ranges from $7928 to $38056 and/or six to 24 months’ imprisonment.
●People can report environmental crime confidentially to Crime Stoppers, phone 1800333000.