The ACT Government has warned would-be hunters in Canberra’s nature reserves they face possible jail time after a female kangaroo shot with an arrow was found in the front yard of a Hackett home this week.
ACT Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) and police are investigating the shooting after the Service received multiple reports from members of the public on Monday (25 June) and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
An Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate spokesperson said a ranger attended the scene and found the distressed animal with an arrow in its leg, and, after seeking veterinary advice, humanely euthanised the animal to prevent further suffering.
The spokesperson said the kangaroo was estimated to be a few years old and carrying a joey in her pouch that was unfortunately too young to be cared for and also had to be humanely euthanised.
“This is particularly distressing for rangers who have to respond to these incidents and to the community who hear and see these sorts of incidents,” the spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately PCS receives reports of kangaroos and other native animals shot by arrows, including an emu at the Lower Cotter Catchment about 12 months ago. These are serious offences and whilst all reports are investigated, PCS relies on information from members of the public to identify those persons responsible. Any information should be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Access Canberra on 132 281.”
The spokesperson said animal cruelty was not tolerated by the community or the Government, and aggravated cruelty attracted maximum penalties of two years imprisonment and/or $75,000.
There were also offences for killing, injuring or endangering native animals that also attracted strong penalties.
“Use of weapons in our nature reserves poses a risk to public safety; that is why taking a weapon or trap into a reserve is strictly prohibited,” the spokesperson said.
A Facebook message alerted the RiotACT to the shooting, saying the distressed animal was hiding in fear and pain.
“Somebody fired off an arrow at the kangaroo and then left it to die slowly and painfully. Luckily the homeowner called WIRES. Whoever did this should be ashamed.”