From ABC News (30/12/23)…
Thousands petition to move Harry Potter event out of Melbourne nature reserve
When Michelle Thomas nursed two baby wallabies back to health, she was told the Briars nature reserve was the only safe place left to release them on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Now she’s worried she made the wrong choice following a council decision to allow a Harry Potter event at the Mount Martha park, about an hour’s drive south of Melbourne.
“I don’t understand how they are claiming it’s not going to impact the wildlife,” she said.
The Briars, known by traditional owners as Tichin-Gorourke, is home to native flora and fauna including koalas, kangaroos, emus and echidnas, and includes a wildlife sanctuary.
In April and May, it will play host to the Australian premiere of an interactive walk-through event recreating parts of the iconic Harry Potter series for fans
Thousands of tickets have already been sold, with visitors promised the opportunity to meet magical creatures and cast spells to light up the dark woods.
But Ms Thomas said it could have dire consequences for the area’s real creatures, which could fall victim to the fatal effects of capture myopathy — a build-up of lactic acid from overexertion.
“They’re going to be in an constant state of absolute sheer panic,” she said.