Jackie Chan wins hearts in the big smoke

Godwin Aquilina and Jackie Chan in Melbourne. Picture: Jason South

The future of infamous Maddingley ram Jackie Chan continues to hang in the balance.

Moorabool council recently ordered that the 10-year-old merino be removed from its owner’s Love Close home.

Jackie Chan has been the centre of a long-running dispute between neighbours after complaints he had attacked people and was dangerous.

Owner Godwin Aquilina was given until midnight last Sunday to find a new home for Jackie Chan or face the risk the ram would be impounded by the council.

However, on Monday the council said its officers wouldn’t impound Jackie Chan until Friday.

Moorabool mayor Allan Comrie said the dispute had been “a saga”. “It’s been going on for years and the residents, his neighbours, are really suffering,” he said. “Rams are dangerous animals. They’re like bulls; they’ll butt anyone if they can.”

While Mr Aquilina fears the ram will be destroyed, the mayor insists that Jackie Chan will not come to any harm.

“We’ll find somewhere safe where [Mr Aquilina] can visit,” Cr Comrie said.

Mr Aquilina and Jackie Chan made a trip into Melbourne last week in a last- ditch effort to win sympathisers to their cause, gaining media coverage in The Age and on 3AW and Instagram.

Mr Aquilina vowed to sleep on Melbourne’s streets with his sheep rather than give him up. He said he was still trying to have Jackie Chan registered as a “companion animal”.

In a bid to save the ram, a Change.org online petition was launched last week. At the time of going to press, it had attracted 1500 signatures.

–  with The Age