A joey wombat has been left to die after his mother was shot dead as she grazed just metres from her burrow, a wildlife rescuer says.
Manfred Zabinskas said he was called to a property at Wallan, north of Melbourne, last Thursday to euthanise a large male kangaroo with a broken leg.
“While attending this incident, a far more gruesome situation unfolded,” Mr Zabinskas said on his Facebook page, Five Freedoms Animal Rescue.
He found a “large number” of male kangaroos culled on a neighbouring property after being shot in the head, neck, face and back.
After further inspection, the body of a dead wombat was found just metres from her burrow.
“She had a mouth full of grass and appeared to have a bullet wound through her arm. She also had a joey in her pouch that appeared to be dead,” Mr Zabinskas said.
The wombat was taken to Vet 2 Pet, where X-rays revealed she had been shot in the arm, with fragments of the bullet breaking bones.
The little boy joey died in her pouch from exposure. Mr Zabinskas said he could have been saved if he had not been left to die.
Mr Zabinskas reported the incident to the Department of Environment, Land and Water Planning.
He said DELWP’s Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) system, which is currently under review, was falling short. He called for stricter conditions and regulation, as well as requirements for shooting accuracy.
The New Daily attempted to reach DELWP on Sunday.
Property owners can be permitted to control wildlife under ATCW if the species is damaging buildings, pasture or crops, posing a risk to human health and safety, or damaging the environment.
The eastern grey kangaroo was subject to the most ACTWs last year, with a total of 4049 authorisations. There were 252 authorisations issued for the common wombat.
Noncompliance with a permit can result in a fine of almost $8000.