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Police investigate deaths at Timmering wildlife sanctuary

Wildlife carers have been left devastated after the brutal killing of three kangaroos at a Timmering wildlife sanctuary.

TRENT HORNEMAN August 5, 2014 3:38am

Police are investigating after three kangaroos were shot dead on a Timmering wildlife reserve on Tuesday night.

Kirsty Ramadan, who owns the 68-hectare property, said offenders smashed through a locked gate, drove onto her property and slaughtered three kangaroos.

Ms Ramadan’s property has been protected through a Trust for Nature covenant for about 12 months, having used the land as a wildlife sanctuary since 1998.

She said there was evidence to suggest the animals did not die quickly.

The property, at the corner of Tehan and Everard roads, Timmering, is home to about 30 to 40 kangaroos at any one time, with the number growing to about 80 at peak times.

Deb Fowler, who nurtured the slain kangaroos, said she had raised the roos since they were joeys at her animal shelter at Kotupna and had taken then to the Timmering property with the hope of releasing them into the wild.

‘‘This was meant to be their second chance. They were in a place where they are meant to be safe and now they have been deliberately shot for no reason,’’ she said.

Ms Fowler said she accepted some farmers shot kangaroos on their property, but she could not accept her kangaroos being slaughtered on protected land.

‘‘We have had people take pot shots from outside the property before, but nothing like this,’’ he said.

Senior Constable Shane Flynn of Kyabram police said officers were investigating Tuesday night’s shooting, but needed information from the public to help catch the shooters.

He said the animals were shot between 10pm and 10.30pm, with two vehicles, believed to be four-wheel-drive utes, seen in the area coming from the direction of Girgarre.

Sen. Constable Flynn said anyone with information should call Kyabram police on 58531777.

Ms Ramadan, who also runs Bohollow Animal Shelter in Bunbartha, said the rate of animal cruelty had risen significantly in recent years.

She said while many farmers would shoot or poison problem animals, she had also started to see birds and other wildlife shot without reason.

A week ago, she tried to rescue a pelican shot by a passing motorist on Broken Creek, near Nathalia.

‘‘A neighbour saw the car pull up, wind down the passenger window, line up pelicans resting on a log and shoot,’’ she said.

‘‘One pelican was shot dead, while another was badly injured.’’

Ms Ramadan said a couple of weeks ago, a paddlesteamer captain called her about a duck on the banks of the Murray River at Echuca, impaled by an arrow.

After capturing the duck, Ms Ramadan operated to remove the arrow, but after three days the bird died from its injuries.

She said instances of animal cruelty were being replicated throughout the country.

‘‘Animal rescuers in other areas are also reporting similar barbaric acts of cruelty,’’ she said.

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