The kangaroo with an arrow in its head at Canunda National Park. (Supplied: Natural Resources South East)
A kangaroo has been euthanised after being found with an arrow through its head in a South Australian national park.
- Kangaroo put down after being found with an arrow in its head
- Killing any animal in a national park is illegal and attracts fines or jail
- RSPCA is opposed to “cruel” bow hunting
A visitor to Canunda National Park, near Millicent in the state’s south-east, found the western grey kangaroo last week and alerted authorities.
It has prompted a reminder from National Resources South East (NRSE) that killing or injuring a protected animal is an offence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
NRSE Lower South East district manager Ross Anderson said National Parks SA staff located the animal and assessed the injury.
“The damage inflicted by the arrow was too great to have been able to heal properly, and the kangaroo would have been in a great amount of pain,” he said.
“Unfortunately we had to euthanise the kangaroo.”
He said it was a timely reminder that hunting native animals in a national park was against the law.
“Hunting in national parks is illegal, for the safety of our native animals and for the safety of other park visitors,” he said.
Canunda National Park is known for its cliffs and long stretches of surf beaches. (Supplied: Natural Resources South East)
“This particular incident constitutes animal cruelty and is a significant breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1985.
“These areas are protected as a haven for wildlife so that animals can live with minimal human interference.”
The maximum penalty under the Animal Welfare Act is a $50,000 fine or four years’ imprisonment, and $2,500 and six months in jail under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
RSPCA SA media relations manager Carolyn Jones said the organisation received five or six reports each year about animals being injured by arrows or crossbow bolts, including birds, kangaroos and cats.
“The RSPCA is opposed to bow hunting because, even when carried out by a competent marksman, it does not result in a rapid and humane death,” Ms Jones said.
“… We are appalled by these incidents, which cause enormous pain and suffering to animals.
“We are concerned that anyone would regard this as an acceptable recreational activity.”
While this kangaroo was euthanised, a Tasmanian wallaby is fighting for its life after being shot with an arrow last week.
The young Bennett’s wallaby was on private property when it was targeted and is now being treated for a severe infection.
Last year, then SA Attorney-General John Rau said he would consider tightening the laws around compound bows after a man was convicted for killing a cat with one in the Adelaide Hills.
Magistrate David McLeod said it was a cruel act to try to euthanise a cat with such a weapon.
“He chose what many would consider a somewhat barbaric method to attempt to destroy it,” he said.