Hunter man charged after live chicken allegedly thrown to alligators

A HUNTER man has been charged after a live chicken was allegedly thrown to alligators at Oakvale Farm and Fauna World wildlife park in Salt Ash.

Last Tuesday, officers attached to Port-Stephens-Hunter Police District were told that a man removed a live chicken from an enclosure and threw it into a nearby alligator enclosure, where it was killed.

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According to reports, the incident took place in front of families with small children.

On Thursday 4 January, a 57-year-old man attended Singleton Police Station, where he was given a court attendance notice for committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal.

He will appear before Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 5 February 2024.

A spokesperson for Oakvale described the incident as “a premeditated act of cruelty”.

“They acquired one of Oakvale’s resident silkie chickens, Betty White, from one of our chicken exhibits and heartlessly threw her into the alligator enclosure, where she was defenceless and died instantly.

“Oakvale staff quickly responded to the incident, confirming the public’s and other animal safety and alerting authorities immediately.

“An investigation was launched by the police alongside the RSPCA, leading to charges being laid.

“The evidence provided by Oakvale Wildlife Park, including video footage, played a crucial role in the authorities laying these charges.”

Oakvale management told News Of The Area they are “deeply saddened” by the incident.

“This is the first time in our 43 years that we have had a member of the public engage in such cruelty in what is an animal sanctuary,” a spokesperson said.

“Betty White was hand-raised at the park and had played a crucial role in our endangered species breeding programme for the Bush Stone Curlew and other species by providing surrogacy to the chicks.

“Her quiet nature means she would not hesitate to approach a customer for some animal pellets, making her an easy target for a ruthless perpetrator.

“We appreciate the support of the local police area command and the RSPCA for their swift response and ongoing support during this distressing time.

“We also appreciate the support in the way of messages, phone calls and visits to the park we have received from our valued customers.”


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