Jogger's 'brutal' discovery on remote Aussie road like something out of 'Wolf Creek'

A local mum was left shocked that someone in her community could be so 'barbaric'.

A white car parked on a dirt road 20 minutes north of Inglewood. To the left, it's possible to see the kangaroos lying on the ground in the grass.
A jogger called for help after discovering a "barbaric" scene by the side of the road. Source: Wildlife Empire

A woman was been left “shocked” and mortified after stumbling across the mutilated bodies of native animals while jogging along a back road.

The 60-year-old was drawn to the grisly situation after hearing the sounds of distress at around 6am on Monday morning. Witnesses said what she discovered on the fringes of the Central Queensland town was like something out of the horror movie Wolf Creek.


Lying on the side of the road were the bodies of two eastern grey kangaroos and a wallaroo. The two species would not normally mob together in the wild, so it's believed they were killed at separate locations and then mysteriously dumped in public view.

The three animals had been decapitated and their legs were smashed off. Witnesses suspect they likely came from the back of a kangaroo shooter's truck as the mutilations were consistent with standard butchering practice.

Although the jogger was country born and bred, what she found next was by far the most “brutal” thing she’s witnessed.

In direct contradiction with government regulations, a large six-month-old joey had disturbingly been left alive inside one of the decapitated kangaroo's pouches.

To avoid ongoing suffering, shooters are required to kill furred pouch young using a "firm and accurate blow to the head induces death by physical disruption of the brain."

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The large six-month-old joey in a warm pink blanket (left). Two of the dead macropods on the roadside.
The large six-month-old joey (left) was found alive inside its decapitated mother's pouch. Source: Wildlife Empire

It was the joey's distressed call that the jogger had heard. By the time she pulled her from the pouch, the mother's body was cold. She would not have survived for long if the woman hadn’t warmed her up and taken her home until a specialised rescuer could assist.

Like the jogger, the wildlife volunteer who attended the scene was shocked by what she saw — describing it as "brutal".

It was hard for rescuer Tennille Bankes to see that someone in her community would leave a baby animal to slowly die inside its dead mother. “This is the most brutal and deliberate thing I have seen. It’s really sad, and it makes it really scary that you’re raising children near other people who have this much disrespect for life,” she said.

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At 7 o’clock this morning, Bankes documented the bodies lying on a dirt road 20 minutes out of Inglewood, towards Goondiwindi.

Speaking from behind the camera, the Wildlife Empire shelter operator recorded the grisly scene (you can watch it below), saying, “How anyone can be so god-damn barbaric is just completely beyond me. That is cruel and inhumane what they did to those kangaroos, but leaving that joey there is bloody disgusting.”

Bankes said the matter would be referred to the police, RSPCA Queensland, and the department of environment (DESI).

Wildlife advocate Cat Coake was horrified by what she saw in the video, but said unfortunately similar occurrences are frequent in Australia, and witnessing such gore is forcing volunteer rescuers to quit from burn out.

“Australia needs to take the problem as seriously as we do domestic pet cruelty,” she said. “Whether you like kangaroos or not, it doesn’t give you the right to be cruel,” she told Yahoo.

But it’s not just illegal cruelty that frustrates her, she is also concerned about legally permitted harvesting of kangaroos – at between 1.5 and 2 million animals a year, it constitutes the largest land based slaughter of wildlife in the world.

The harvesting industry and federal government maintain shooters adhere to a strict code of conduct. "Kangaroo meat is sustainably and humanely sourced," the department of agriculture states on its website. But critics of the program argue the regulations are impossible to enforce as there is no monitoring when the animals are shot. They say the discovery of the live joey illustrates their case.

  • Red kangaroo

  • Eastern grey kangaroo

  • Western grey kangaroo

  • Common wallaroo

  • Tammar wallaby

  • Bennetts wallaby

Kangaroos are not farmed, and all animals are shot in the wild. The industry maintains the meat is a healthy, low-fat, alternative to other red meats like cows, sheep and pigs.

A small amount of meat is sold for human consumption in butcher shops, and stocked on the shelves of most major supermarkets, including Coles and Woolworths.

But most meat is sold off cheaply to pet food manufacturers. It's used in boutique treats, but also as a cheap protein in products sold by major manufacturers including Pedigree, Optimum, Schmackos and My Dog.

Skins add value to the carcasses, but their sale is controversial and Big W recently pulled them from its website following a public backlash. Internationally, most sportswear brands including Nike, Puma and New Balance no longer use kangaroo to make soccer boots, but German shoe retailer Adidas continues to favour it.

Some body parts end up as quirky curios for the tourist market. But Coake thinks most international visitors thinking of flying to Australia because of its unique wildlife, would be horrified by the way it is treated.

“Tourists come here to see wildlife and instead we try and sell them kangaroo scrotum purses and mementos. But that’s not what they’re coming here to see,” Coake said.

“But we continue to do it anyway. And we’re beginning to look like the conservation backwater of the world.”

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