WARNING - DISTURBING IMAGES: A kangaroo is the latest victim in a spate of bow and arrow attacks on Queensland wildlife which have left carers feeling “heartbroken”.
Those responsible for the attacks around the sunshine state have been labelled “suburban d***heads” who appear to be wounding animals in a misguided attempt at sport, according to the RSPCA Queensland’s Michael Beatty.
While Mr Beatty is confident that professional hunters in rural areas are attempting to kill their targets quickly, the wounded animals he and his team are treating in the suburbs are often left to die in pain.
“We’ve had kangaroos and wallabies hopping around and sometimes it can take two weeks for them to be caught,” he told Yahoo News Australia.
“It’s not like an episode of Game of Thrones, these animals aren’t killed immediately at all.
“They tend to be shot in the leg or just somewhere where it’s going to linger and then the wound festers.
“Eventually they die from blood poisoning or infection.”
When the RSPCA’s wildlife hospital in Wacol began operations in 2012, staff were treating 8,500 native animals and birds a year, but that number has since ballooned to 27,000.
Mr Beatty notes a rise in patient numbers is occurring alongside an ongoing loss of habitat from development which sees wildlife come into contact with dogs, cats and cars.
Already working hard to save Australia’s vulnerable creatures from accidental harm, what vets don’t want is the added pressure of treating preventable injuries.
Volunteer gives up her day off to help kangaroo
The most recent animal to be rescued was an eastern grey kangaroo found at Kooralbyn, 71km south of Brisbane, on Friday morning.
Liz Miller from Wildcare Australia said she had been planning a day off to get on top of chores, when she received a call from RSPCA Queensland to assist.
A member of public had reported a kangaroo on a golf course with an arrow through his shoulder, the second such occurrence in recent weeks.
Ms Miller later arrived at the course, where she found a large male roo who was clearly suffering.
“It was really very obvious he was in immense pain, and it made me very angry,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
“The roo was with his mob but he was moving very carefully and very gingerly. He was ear flicking, teeth grinding, the two main signs of pain.”
With the help of a wildlife ambulance volunteer they had the kangaroo darted with a tranquilliser, and an hour later he was at the RSPCA vet at Wacol, being prepared to have the arrow removed.
To stop the onset of an often fatal stress induced condition myopathy, the vets chose to work on the kangaroo in the back of Ms Miller’s ute and kept him heavily sedated.
‘No better feeling’: Kangaroo returns to the wild
With the surgery a success, Ms Miller returned the roo to the golf course in the afternoon. As the sun went down, she continued to sit with him and watch his recovery.
It was 11pm Friday by the time Ms Miller felt comfortable enough to return home. The kangaroo appeared strong enough to fight on.
“That just left me on an absolute high because to be honest most of the (kangaroo) jobs that we go to require euthanasia,” she said.
“So, that gets a little bit heartbreaking after a while, so it's really lovely when you get the opportunity to be able to help treat one and wake one up in the field.
“There's no better feeling than that.”
Anyone with information about the attack is urged to contact RSPCA Queensland on 1300 ANIMAL / 1300 264 625.
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