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GRAPHIC DETAILS: Swamp wallaby joey set alight and left to die in Cardiff bushland


A sickening act, which saw a swamp wallaby joey set alight and left to die in Cardiff bushland, has drawn the ire of animal activists, residents and local politicians.

Alerted by smoke, two young men found the juvenile marsupial trapped inside an old cage last Friday, placed inside a three-foot hole with two burning logs sitting on top of it.

The distraught bushwalkers then contacted Hunter Wildlife Rescue who, sadly, had to digest more shocking news.

“The guys also located an adult female swamp wallaby dead with a bullet wound to the head, as well as the decapitated heads of two cats hanging in nearby trees,” NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson MLC said.

“I’m shocked and sickened by this extreme level of cruelty.

“It is clear the person or people who did this to these wallabies and cats did so with the intent to harm.

“These animals, particularly the wallaby joey, would have suffered incredible stress and pain.

“In fact, what they did constitutes as torture under the Crimes Act.

“It is my understanding that police have been contacted and are working with the community to find the perpetrators.

“I encourage anyone with information to contact the police immediately.

“We must find the perpetrators and they must be held accountable for their actions. 

“I’d like to thank the two young men who rescued this joey and everyone at Hunter Wildlife Rescue for saving this innocent life in what would have been a particularly physically and emotionally draining rescue.”

Hunter Wildlife Rescue president Audrey Koosmen labelled the duo “heroes”.

“One of them raced to the joey’s rescue by throwing the burning logs off the cage and, in doing that, he burnt his hands, then grabbed the animal out of the cage,” she said.

“The joey was in state of shock and terror, shaking like nothing they had ever witnessed.

“They called for help straight away and the joey was then taken to one of our macropod carers.”

Ms Koosmen said the joey would be in care for a long time.

“He suffered burns to his nose,” she explained.

“However, on assessment by vet Dr Cathy at Macquarie Vetz at Warners Bay, he was found to be in good condition but in shock and was placed into intensive care.

“Our carer spent two days settling him down and she has done a wonderful job.

“He is improving daily.

“I cannot believe he is so trusting of us humans after what some others did to him and his mum.

“Their intent was to burn him alive, a poor helpless baby as his mum lay dead only a few feet away from him.

“The police have also been wonderful.

“Their concern, as well as what happened to these animals, is that someone is running around the bushland with a .22 rifle.

“There were two heads of dead cats hanging in trees close by to where the wallaby was shot, too.

“In all the years I have rescued and cared for wildlife, this is the most terrible, disgusting act of cruelty I have come across.

“If anyone knows anything about this matter, please Belmont Police.

“We need to find these people and see they are dealt with.”

Animal Justice Party Newcastle regional group leader Darren Brollo said the recent spate of cruelty cases was disturbing on a “deeply personal level”.

“It is horrifying to think the person or people responsible for these unconscionable acts are out there today, walking the same streets as everyone else in our animal-loving community,” he stated.

“The Hunter community rejects all forms of animal cruelty.”

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