Possum shootings spark Melbourne manhunt

Two ringtail possums have died after being hit by homemade darts, prompting Victorian authorities to launch a manhunt for the shooters.

Both were shot in The Basin area of Melbourne's east, with the first found dead by a member of the public on Augusta Road on November 13 last year.

The second was found injured on January 10 and taken to the Animal Emergency Centre at Mount Waverley where it later had to be euthanised because of its injuries.

Victoria Police and the state's Conservation Regulator are hunting those responsible and seeking information from the public on the two shootings.

Wildlife in Victoria is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.

"We have a diverse range of native species living in and around Greater Melbourne and actions of cruelty to wildlife like this are illegal and unacceptable," chief conservation regulator Kate Gavens said.

People found hunting, taking or destroying wildlife can be hit with penalties of more than $41,000 and up to two years of jail time.

Aggravated cruelty to animals can also attract a fine of more than $92,000 and two years' jail.

Authorities urge anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers.