WARNING – DISTRESSING IMAGES: Wildlife volunteers and concerned residents are conducting a line search across a Victorian golf course after an injured kangaroo they were attending to disappeared under “mysterious circumstances”.
The animal, which rescuers say was unable to stand, was found this morning, along with eight dead animals after a notification from a neighbour last night.
Some were floating in a dam, and others were decomposing, according to volunteers who attended the scene.
Police confirmed they were called to a golf course at Heritage Avenue, Chirnside park, in Melbourne's east, accompanied by a vet, after receiving a report.
They said the “exact circumstances around the incident are unclear” and “investigations are ongoing”.
Linda, a Wildlife Victoria volunteer, photographed the injured kangaroo at 8am and called for veterinary assistance, but when she returned the kangaroo was gone, and there were tyre marks where it was lying.
Wildlife Victoria volunteers indicated that over the last few weeks they have regularly attended Heritage Golf and Country Club after reports of dead and injured animals.
Vet frustrated by number of dead kangaroos
The kangaroo deaths were described as “concerning and suspicious” by Wildlife Victoria vet Dr Natasha Bassett, who has examined a number of animals at the site.
Otherwise healthy kangaroos have been found dead with severe injuries, with one found to have multiple skull and jaw fractures, according to Dr Bassett.
Another female was found distressed with a dead youngster in her pouch, while another joey was seen without a head.
Dogs residing at the site were impounded a week ago and have been seen chasing kangaroos at the property on previous occasions, but have since been released.
The kangaroo deaths followed a planned cull at the site in April which made national headlines and was abandoned amid community pressure.
Heritage Golf and Country Club has not returned repeated requests for comment, however an email addressed to members of the club, seen by Yahoo News Australia, said the kangaroo deaths are due to recent flooding.
'Disproportionate' number of kangaroos injured at site
Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma said calls from nearby residents to assist injured kangaroos at the golf course have been “disproportionate” compared with other sites.
“Our wildlife rescue volunteers have found over that time a large number of deceased kangaroos, both adults and joeys,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
“Some of those animals have been assessed by our veterinarian and we are waiting on post mortem results.
“We are gravely concerned about what’s happening to the kangaroos at the site.”
Ms Palma said as CEO she had a duty of care to the organisation's volunteer rescuers, and she is concerned that many are deeply traumatised by repeat visits to the site.
“I have personally attended some of these cases and am deeply traumatised and troubled by what I have seen,” Ms Palma added in a statement.
She said Wildlife Victoria is organising psychological support and counselling for volunteers “based on the trauma they’ve experienced” as a result of the “horrific injuries”.
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