By Brendan Rees
Disturbing photos have emerged of a severely injured kangaroo after being hit by an arrow in Lysterfield Park and left for dead.
Wildlife rescuers found the kangaroo, nicknamed Frank, with a wound under his chin and an arrow pierced through his leg near the Lysterfield Lake yacht club after a passer-by raised the alarm.
Local wildlife rescuer Sue Johnston, who was part of a team that came to the roo’s aid about 1pm on Saturday 11 January, said she immediately gave a prescribed sedative to the marsupial.
“Seeing his neck it was like something from a horror movie, it was terrible,” she said.
Ms Johnston and two other rescuers Paul Jones and Sarah Cooke rushed Frank to Woofpurnay Veterinary Hospital in Narre Warren North where the arrow was removed.
“The vet thinks he might have sustained a knife injury on the neck … which is very concerning,” Ms Johnston said, adding the wound was about 8cm long and 2cm deep.
“I see many bad things with kangaroo injuries but this at a whole other level,” she said.
“The vet actually sedated him more and gave him gas … he was in a lot of pain; wringling and rising in pain on the table, it was very sad to see.
“Luckily the wound is quite clean where the arrow went in,” she said. “He’s got a chance hopefully.”
Ms Johnston reported the incident to police and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
“Seeing something like this … it’s premeditated and an aggressive sort of attack; very concerning for me being a wildlife shelter and especially in my backyard,” she said.
Ms Johnston said another arrow had been found in Lysterfield South about a week earlier which had been passed onto police.
Frank is now recovering in the last available enclosure at the Five Freedoms Animal Rescue shelter in the Macedon Ranges.
Five Freedoms Animal Rescue Facebook page posted shocking images of Frank and described the incident as “disgusting and unnecessary acts of cruelty.”
“The arrow penetrated the kangaroo’s leg and its tip caused serious injury to the kangaroo’s neck,” the post read.
“While our wildlife are suffering horrendously through the devastating fires in Victoria, some sick and cruel bastard has added to the pain,” the rescue group wrote.
“Unfortunately, our animals continue to suffer in many ways and not just from the fires, and our work continues, and this beautiful big boy needs our help,” the post said.
The group also called for tighter controls over weapons.“People can’t be trusted. How many times have we seen such a despicable act involving the illegal shooting of a kangaroo with arrows?” it posted.
In a Facebook post, Federal MP for La Trobe Jason Wood said he was shocked by the incident and had called for stronger penalties for those that commit animal cruelty.“While our wildlife are suffering through the devastating fires in Victoria, some sick and cruel person has added to the pain,” he said in the post.
“This shouldn’t be happening to our wildlife, I have been able to put on the COAG (Council of Australian Governments) agenda meeting of Environmental Ministers to have nationally stronger penalties for those who inflict cruelty on our wildlife, we are now just waiting for final agreement.”