PHOTOGRAPHS of horrific cruelty to dogs in an NT community have been posted on a Facebook page - and then hastily taken down as authorities tried to cover up the shocking scandal.
The pictures showed two animals believed to have been attacked with machetes by boys. Another was of a dog with a broken leg with the bone exposed.
A third was of an animal with all its fur eaten away by mange.
Another dog was photographed getting around the community without the use of its back legs, which were either broken or lame.
The photographs were posted on Facebook by Kristine Love, who works for an animal welfare agency on Groote Eylandt.
Wildlife volunteer Terri Wright said after seeing the pictures: "The suffering of the animals here is horrendous."
The photographs were removed within minutes of the NT News telephoning the Animal Management Remote Rural Indigenous Communities project manager John Skuja to ask about animal cruelty on the island.
Groote council public relations officer Aroha Jennings said only one dog was involved and it had been run over. But the photographs show several animals.
And the NT News has been told that animal cruelty and neglect is rampant in some remote communities.
Many dogs are well cared for by their owners. But others are often beaten and left to find their own food.
By Nigel Adlam, NT News