WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: Bound and decapitated is how the body of a kangaroo was found in a historic Victorian town.
Located by council workers during a routine street clean in Ballarat on August 1, the find was reported to the state’s Conservation Regulator.
It’s believed the animal died between 12 and 24 hours prior to its discovery, but investigators are yet to determine a cause of death.
Images shared by Crime Stoppers show the eastern grey lying on the nature strip with its headless neck falling into the gutter on Winter Street, a major suburban street near Ballarat's centre.
Orange rope can be seen looped around its legs and tail.
Investigators say animal cruelty 'unacceptable and illegal'
In Victoria, licensed shooters regularly kill kangaroos for their meat and skins, or to reduce competition with introduced livestock.
Killing or harming any kangaroo species without a permit or license is still considered a crime in the state, and authorities are regularly called to investigate unusual deaths.
Brian Hamer, the region’s regulatory operations manager, said Victoria takes “allegations of wildlife crime seriously”.
“Kangaroos, like all wildlife, are protected in Victoria and actions of cruelty towards them are unacceptable and illegal,” he said in a statement.
On Tuesday investigators had no leads and urged the public to come forward, ABC News reported.
"It is distressing. We do respond from time to time where we have had reports of kangaroos that have been killed or injured and they are not always as a result of traffic accidents," he told the broadcaster.
Victoria’s maximum penalty for destroying wildlife without authorisation is $41,305 in fines and 24 months imprisonment, while those found guilty of aggravated cruelty can face a penalty of $92,460 and 24 months imprisonment.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au.
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