By Steph McNicol
WILDLIFE Victoria volunteers have expressed their disappointment after having to euthanise a kangaroo shot with arrows in Macedon Ranges Shire on New Year’s Day.
Police contacted Wildlife Victoria after the kangaroo was spotted in a reserve in a suburban area of Gisborne, with two arrows piercing its body and several deep cuts to its right arm and leg.
Wildlife Victoria rescue volunteer Glenn said the kangaroo had fallen into a creek and managed to crawl onto land where it suffered until rescuers could attend.
“The Gisborne police got in contact with Wildlife Victoria about the roo being seen with arrows, and we got called out to meet police on site,” Glenn said.
“When we arrived on scene, we found him lying on the grass with two arrows protruding out of his body and we had to assess the wounds.
“The police thought we may have been able to save it, so we tranquilised him to assess the severity, but when we looked at the wounds, they were too severe for us to save him.
“He had multiple deep lacerations on his right arm and leg, and right under the spine on the other side, because when it tried to run away the arrow had torn shreds off its arm and leg.”
The volunteers were left with no choice but to euthanise the kangaroo.
Glenn said calls to Wildlife Victoria regarding kangaroos being shot were regular, and he was concerned it had become easier for people to access weaponry to do so.
“If you were to put into Google ‘arrow attacks on roos’, there are a lot of articles. It happens every year, we get called out to numerous cases and we’re generally not able to save them,” he said.
“We’ve seen kangaroos with their jaws shot off, or legs shot off, they have bullet holes if they’ve been shot with small-calibre firearms, and they feel helpless, so they lie down and hope someone finds them.
“This kangaroo was shot with arrows in a residential area. Anyone can go out and buy a bow and arrows and don’t need a licence.
“They have access to lethal hunting tips, it’s completely legal, and there are no records of who purchases them.
“Now our government is also endorsing kangaroos pet food trials, which means there are more getting shot.”
Glenn said people witnessing animal cruelty, especially to wildlife, should call police or their local ranger and inform authorities with as many details as possible – footage of the occurrence would be helpful.
“We get a lot of dog attacks as well, especially during COVID-19, because people were out walking their dogs more,” he said.
“I’ve called a ranger when I watched someone let their dog off a lead to chase and kill a kangaroo.
“Our rescuers are already dealing with dramatic scenes daily when kangaroos get hit by cars.
“Now they’re being shot with arrows and guns and bitten by dogs. Our wildlife deserves better than this.”
Anyone who witnesses an act of animal cruelty on wildlife is urged to call police, or contact Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300.