IT was a sight that brought veteran wildlife rescuer Ann Morgan to tears – a female kangaroo left to die in pain after being shot through the chest with a sports arrow.
Distressed Morisset Hospital staff called Ms Morgan to help the wounded animal after patients spotted it near a mob last Wednesday afternoon.
‘‘The poor girl was suffering terribly because she couldn’t lie down. She still had a joey in her pouch and a foot joey,’’ Ms Morgan said. ‘‘We tried to catch her but we couldn’t.’’
RSPCA rangers euthanised the kangaroo on Thursday morning.
NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman called for public assistance to convict those responsible for the heartless attack after he viewed a photo of the stricken animal on Tuesday night.
‘‘This is an atrocious act and I urge anyone with any information about this attack to contact the police or the RSPCA,’’ he said.
It is the latest in a string of bow and arrow attacks that native animal carers have reported in recent times.
The Newcastle Herald reported on a similar incident involving a kangaroo at Muswellbrook earlier this month.
RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O’Shannessy said investigators were keen to talk to anyone with information about the Morisset incident.
‘‘There is no doubt that this animal suffered significantly as a result of its injuries before it died,’’ he said.
‘‘At the moment we don’t have a lot to work with, but I’m sure there is someone out there who knows something or has heard something that can help catch the person or persons responsible’’.
Ms Morgan said it was the worst act of cruelty that she had witnessed in her 14 years as a native animal carer.
‘‘I couldn’t sleep knowing that she was out there suffering on Wednesday night,’’ she said.
‘‘To shoot an animal and leave it to die that way is horrendous. How anyone can treat a living creature in that way is horrific.’’
Trained Hunter Wildlife Rescue carers are caring for the dead kangaroo’s joeys.
The organisation asks anyone who finds an injured animal to contact them immediately.
‘‘Don’t try and care for it yourself, contact someone who knows what they are doing,’’ Ms Morgan said.
Those convicted under the animal cruelty act face fines of up to $22,000 and/or two years’ jail. Additional charges may be laid under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Hunter Wildlife Rescue: 0418 628 483
RSPCA: 1300 278 358
Crimestoppers: 1800 333 000