An Epping animal rescuer fears a pigeon found tied to a harness made of fishing line, wire and rope was being used to bait falcons and eagles at Stocklands Paddock.
Anna Balakas came across the live pigeon on April 10 after she noticed a car parked outside the Boral Quarries on Findon Road.
Ms Balakas, who often checks on a mob of kangaroos that call the paddock home, stopped to inquire why the car was there and spotted a man throwing a bird in the air while falcons circled.
She asked the man what he was doing, but he denied the pigeon was his, so she decided to try to rescue it.
“My biggest concern was that the falcons were swooping the pigeon,” she said, “It was only then that I noticed the harness.
“When I saw the harness and the blood, I knew the pigeon needed help.”
Ms Balakas took the pigeon to a local vet, who freed it from the harness and recorded its injuries.
“The damage the harness had done to the pigeon meant it had to be euthanased,” she said. “The harness was made to keep it from flying. The fishing line had cut the pigeon above its tail feathers and the wire on its undercarriage had cut the body and also cut its crop.”
Ms Balakas said he had never come across an incident such as this before.
“I think the pigeon was being used as bait,” she said. “I think this is more than someone being cruel.”
Ms Balakas has reported the incident to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.