A wombat is in critical condition after being shot with 26 pellets and left on the side of the road.
The wombat, who has since been named Harold, was rushed to the Wombat Awareness Organisation in Flaxley, south of Adelaide in South Australia, on Tuesday.
The sanctuary posted a photo of Harold to its Facebook page after he was brought in by a wildlife carer who spotted the wombat while driving by.
“We are asking for your urgent prayers tonight for this dear boy who came in as an emergency today,” staff wrote.
“He has been shot with 26 pellets from head to toe but his greatest threat is heat exhaustion and dehydration.
“Our vet has popped him on IV fluids and pain relief and he is becoming more responsive, but he has a long way to go.”
Sanctuary employees said the next few days will be critical for Harold, but that he appeared to have gained some of his appetite back.
“I am trying not to get too excited as the next 48 hours are crucial and he is far from being out of the woods, but he showed enthusiasm for his food today!
“It is a really positive sign. Aside from this, he is still deeply resting and recovering,” the Wombat Awareness Organisation posted hours after he was rushed in.
The Facebook posts have been shared thousands of times and attracted hundreds of horrified reactions from commenters.
“Why would anyone do such a cruel and disgusting thing like that. Hope he pulls through,” one woman said.
“Poor little darling. Experiencing the worst of our society but now cradled in the arms of the best! So much love,” another wrote.
“26 pellets? Who does that to an animal? Hoping for a recovery for this little one,” a third woman posted.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.