Schoolboys facing animal torture and kill claim
FOUR students from a prestigious Hobart school have avoided criminal charges after a claim they tortured and killed a wallaby at Lake Barrington.
According to an anonymous Mercury reader, the Friends' School students were camping in early 2020 when they trapped the wallaby in water until it drowned, then retrieved the deceased animal from the water and smashed its head on rocks.
Friends principal Nelson File confirmed this week that the school was informed of the animal cruelty allegations in August 2020.
He said the school notified Tasmania Police and also dealt with the boys internally by engaging a juvenile offending "restorative justice" provider.
"The Friends' School took these allegations seriously and referred the matter to Tasmania Police on 6 August 2020. Discussions also occurred with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife (Service), which conducted its own investigation," he said.
"Subsequent to these actions, Tasmania Police and DPIPWE did not take the matter further and supported the school's approach to managing the allegations.
"By any standard, animal cruelty is not acceptable behaviour and is at odds with our school's values of care and concern."
The Friends' School community was notified about the incident before Christmas 2020.
According to the anonymous Mercury reader, the four boys
trapped the wallaby and frightened it.
"Every time the wallaby tried to escape from the water, they frightened it, forcing it to retreat deeper and deeper until it drowned," the reader said.
"If this behaviour wasn't abhorrent enough, they then pulled the deceased animal by its feet and dragged it from the water and proceeded to smash its head on the rocks."
Tasmania Police confirmed it became aware of the allegations last year, although no formal complaint was laid.
"Available evidence did not support charges being laid," a spokesperson said.
DPIPWE and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service have also been contacted for comment.
Originally published as No charges for schoolboys after wallaby torture claim