Tourists fly to the US for $5,000 kangaroo experience illegal in Australia

Australia doesn't allow its wildlife to be killed for fun, but over in Texas it's a different story.

People shooting a machine gun at the ranch.
Aside from hunting kangaroos and emus, paying customers are also allowed to fire machine guns. Source: Supplied

WARNING - DISTURBING IMAGES: A Texas ranch is offering hunters a chance to take part in a bloody "sport" involving Australian wildlife that would be illegal back home.

Kangaroos can be hunted legally year round in Texas, believe it or not it’s illegal to recreationally hunt Kangaroos in Australia,” the ranch boasts on their website.

Separately, the same facility allows visitors to take part in other activities banned in Australia. They include driving and shooting American, Nazi, and Russian tanks that date back to World War II, as well as operating flamethrowers and machine guns. But it doesn't appear they can be fired at the animals.

Although licensed shooters are allowed to kill kangaroos for their meat or population control in Australia, simply hunting them for pleasure is not allowed.

For this reason, the ranch professes that people have travelled to its Texas hunting grounds and paid $5,000 to kill them where it’s legal. “We’ve had hunters fly all the way from Australia to hunt kangaroo,” the ranch claims. Sydney to Texas is a 13,000km journey.

The ranch did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.

Two images of people at the ranch with dead kangaroos.
The Texas ranch claims Australians have paid them to shoot kangaroos. Source: Supplied

Yahoo was contacted about the ranch by Kerry Baker, a former wildlife rescuer, who was concerned protected Australian wildlife may have been imported to the United States so it could be hunted by gun-toting Americans.

Speaking to Yahoo News on Friday, the 70-year-old Victorian said the website’s content made her feel “disgusted”.

“It literally made me feel sick in my stomach. What sort of a human being wants to go out and cause pain to an animal for pleasure?” she said.

“It states on their website that it's illegal to do recreational hunting kangaroos in Australia. It feel like they’re thumbing their nose at Australia.”

Baker feels it's “bizarre” that nothing can be done to prevent kangaroos from being hunted in ways that would be illegal in Australia.

The ranch allows hunters to kill kangaroos using rifles and pistols. But it’s the use of bow and arrows that particularly troubles Baker.

“It worries me enormously. Bow and arrow hunting has horrendous implications. They should be respecting Australia’s wildlife, and we should be making sure they do. Because this is just horrendous” she added.

Australia’s department of environment confirmed that no native animals have been directly exported to the hunting range. It was more likely the kangaroos and emus descend from wildlife imported decades ago.

For the past 30 years, Australia now had stricter legislation regulating the export of native animals. And today kangaroos and emus can only be exported for non-commercial purposes such as confining them in a zoo. And any babies these exported animals have cannot be used for hunting or other commercial purposes.

“Many facilities around the world hold Australian wildlife, bred from animals that were acquired before Australian strict export controls were put in place,” it told Yahoo.

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