The little locality of Cape Clear would be understandably shocked at what has been visited upon them. Two kangaroos slaughtered and dumped in the townships only park is enough to upset anybody.
There are no doubt many people who consider kangaroos a pest and at this time of year when the Australian native symbol comes down out of the bush in search of food there is also the increased risk of colliding with them on country roads.
Occasionally when kangaroo numbers swell to be a significant problem for both farmers and drivers alike, governments have seen the need to cull them but like the commercial killing of kangaroos for meat, these are conducted under strict conditions.
There is also the licensed non-commercial culling of kangaroos but licence conditions have clear guidelines for how to kill the animals humanely. This includes targeting the animals with head shots, to help ensure the animal dies as quickly as possible and to minimise any subsidiary suffering such as the possibility that the kangaroos are carrying young in their pouches.
Incidents like Cape Clear are altogether different.
The problem lies with unlicensed killing and for some time the breadth and gravity of the issue has been difficult to measure. An extreme incident like this incident one in Cape Clear, looking suspiciously like a thrill-kill, highlights the worst. From all appearances the kangaroos appear to have had their throats cut, which would be bad enough but when these animals are then dumped in a children’s playground, people are understandably worried at the motives of the killers.
We all pass dead kangaroos on the highway often enough but there is a gulf between unavoidable accidents and this kind of deliberate behaviour.
Most troubling of all is the mindset of someone who not only kills like this but seems to want to show off their handiwork. Wildlife Victoria volunteer and rescuer Helen Round has articulated what will concern many people when they hear this news.
“The link between violence towards animals and later with humans is clear and evident,” she said. “This is one sick individual and the fact they laid them out for children and people to find shows a really disturbed and sick pathology. ”
No one wants to see this kind of behaviour but everyone needs to keep a vigilant eye out for it.