RSPCA probes pest’s death at billionaire’s Sydney mansion
The RSPCA is investigating a "report of animal cruelty" involving a fox at the multimillion-dollar home of property tycoon Harry Triguboff.
The Daily Telegraph understands the RSPCA was called after the fox died, believed by drowning in a pool, at Mr Triguboff's Vaucluse home six months ago.
Mr Triguboff - the founder of apartments giant Meriton and Australia's third richest man - was not home when the incident took place, a statement released to The Telegraph said.
"The matter did not involve Mr Triguboff at all and it is to do with an employed person," the statement from Meriton group general counsel Joseph Callaghan said on Tuesday.
"Mr Triguboff was not home at the time and did not know about it until afterwards. The matter was referred to the RSPCA and the person involved has co-operated completely.
"To Mr Triguboff's knowledge, she has not been charged with anything."
It is understood the female employee called a zoo and a vet business to try to get help but was told the fox would likely be euthanased. When neither organisation was willing to accept the animal it is understood a decision was made to kill it.
The fox was understood to have been running wild on the sprawling harbour-front home, purchased for $5.5 million almost 30 years ago, before being captured.
In a statement, RSPCA NSW said an investigation had been carried out by its "inspectorate" and it was still considering the findings.
"RSPCA NSW received a report of animal cruelty in relation to a fox," the statement said. "The matter was under investigation by the RSPCA NSW Inspectorate, which included the provision of expert veterinary advice. It remains a subject of consideration."
The RSPCA has the power to lay charges and prosecute those it suspects of animal cruelty and on Monday confirmed no charges had been laid over the allegations involving the fox. It would not clarify who the individuals were at the centre of the investigation.
Foxes are pests in parts of Sydney and are baited by some councils
Mr Triguboff has an estimated wealth of $12.31 billion and was named Australia's third richest person in a ranking released by the Weekend Australian in March.
Only cardboard king Richard Pratt ($13.14 billion) and mining magnate Gina Rinehart ($13.12 billion) were above him.
Mr Triguboff's enormous wealth is thanks largely to the success of his residential units empire Meriton Group and its building arm Karimbla Construction Services.