BUNDABERG Regional Council says it was left with no other option than to shoot a kangaroo which was trapped in the airport grounds after numerous attempts to remove it failed.
Shortly before the animal was killed today, members of the Australian Society for Kangaroos said "a tonne of bricks" would come down on the council if they used lethal methods to get rid of the animal.
Economic development spokesman Councillor Greg Barnes said dry weather and drought-like conditions were believed to be behind an increase in kangaroo activity at the Bundaberg Airport with a number of the animals found inside the grounds in recent months.
"While a majority of the kangaroos have been successfully removed from the airport property and now reside on nearby land, council's staff have been unsuccessful in removing a lone male roo despite repeated attempts in recent weeks," Cr Barnes said.
"The large kangaroo has evaded capture on numerous occasions and is causing serious safety concerns at the airport."
Cr Barnes said the council staff did daily safety inspections of the airport perimeter to make sure the runway was clear of obstructions.
"Council's preference would be to tranquilise the animal however staff cannot get close enough to utilise this method," he said.
"In the meantime, the kangaroo poses a very real and substantial threat to the safety of passengers and flight crew.
"Council is bound by federal legislation to ensure the safety of all users of its airport including some 130,000 travellers who fly in and out of the region and it cannot permit such a risk to remain without taking decisive action.
Accordingly, council is left with no choice other than to euthanize the animal in accordance with acceptable and humane guidelines."
But Australian Society for Kangaroos vice president Fiona Corke, who spoke to the NewsMail before the animal was shot but could not be contacted after, said the situation could have been resolved without killing the animal.
"If they shoot the kangaroo, that will be an absolute tragedy," she said.
"It's 2013 for goodness sake, there should be non-lethal options on the table."
Ms Corke said she had been in contact with the airport management and told them that if they needed help having the animal safely removed, they simply needed to ask and they would help arrange it by having a Macropod expert, a vet or parks and wildlife employee get involved.
"One of our members darted a kangaroo at the Melbourne Airport (yesterday) and another one at Essendon was removed as well," she said.
Ms Corke said she understood a dog catcher had been trying to remove Bundaberg's kangaroo but that a Macropod expert would be much better suited to the job.