A Noosa resident says she will make it her life mission to track down the motorist who "deliberately swerved" to hit a brush turkey in front of her on Monday afternoon.
The woman is appealing for dashcam footage and is working with local authorities to identify the registration plate from the car which she says "sped up" and steered towards the turkey, hitting the bird and leaving it for dead.
She was driving along a busy, main road when the incident occurred. "My children witnessed it and we pulled up immediately to help," she wrote on Facebook, describing the upsetting moment.
Despite wrapping the turkey in a shirt they had on hand and rushing to the local wildlife hospital, the animal didn't make it. "It died in my arms within five minutes," she shared.
Local resident goes to great lengths to identify driver
After the family's distressing ordeal, the mum has taken it upon herself to track down the motorist in the hope they are fined for their "cruel" actions.
The local resident has reached out to a nearby hotel and Bay Village shops and businesses to hopefully catch sight of the vehicle she is sure she would recognise, in an attempt to identify the individual responsible.
"I will make this my life mission," she said among hundreds of comments on the post. Other locals responded to condemn the motorist's actions.
"That’s absolutely disgusting and unnecessary behaviour," one man wrote.
"That is so sad, how can anyone deliberately kill a bird or an animal," another asked.
The Noosa community are particularly protective of these native animals after a beloved albino brush turkey, affectively nicknamed "Albie", was killed by a car last year.
Wildlife rescue centre says more education is needed
Brush turkeys are protected under Australian law and are considered a native animal, with respect for the animals noted as a vital component for the species survival.
However, incidents like these with people going out of their way to cause harm "happen more often than gets reported" according to Claire Smith from Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast.
Snakes, kangaroos and even emus are commonly targeted in these deliberate "attack and kill" acts, with Ms Smith believing more education is needed to help protect the animals we live alongside.
"For people who are caught and convicted of acts of cruelty against wildlife, I personally would like them to pay back to society by undertaking training in wildlife care," she told Yahoo News Australia.
"People very often change their beliefs once they have a one on one experience with a vulnerable animal," she continued.
The RSPCA work tirelessly to protect animals and educate the community about humane treatment, with perpetrators copping hefty consequences under the Animal Care and Protection Act if they go out of their way to cause harm.
"Anyone found to be deliberately harming wildlife is a deplorable act, you can be charged and face prosecution," Emma Lagoon, spokesperson for RSPCA Queensland said.
Charges for wildlife cruelty offences vary depending on the evidence of each situation, but a general offence has a maximum penalty of $275,700 or three years' imprisonment.
As a country notorious for our weird and wonderful wildlife, experts in the space encourage the community not to berate one another, but instead work together to help our native animals thrive.
"Perhaps we should embrace and share our world with those who are so far removed from a connection with nature," Ms Smith concluded.
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