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Suspect arrested in arrow attacks on kangaroos near Melbourne

May 22, 2009 |  3:43 pm

Beau, the kangaroo found shot through the head with an arrow Australian authorities have made an arrest in the case of two eastern grey kangaroos found shot with arrows in Bundoora, a suburb of Melbourne, earlier this month.  The suspect, a 27-year-old man whose name has not been released, was charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty and "reckless conduct endangering life," according to the Herald Sun

Authorities found a small arsenal of bows, arrows, and other related items during a search of the man's home.  He reportedly told police that he didn't know kangaroos were a protected animal. He was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court June 25.

The first injured kangaroo found was named Beau by rescuers; he's shown at right as rescuers worked to save him after finding him with an arrow through his face.  Veterinary surgeon Dr. Michael Lynch of the Melbourne Zoo performed surgery to remove the arrow. 

Another kangaroo, a female dubbed Hope by rescuers, underwent surgery to remove an arrow from her rear.  Her wound later became infected, but both animals are expected to recover. Beau and Hope are now recuperating at the Chum Creek Wildlife Shelter, where they'll remain for a few weeks before they're taken to the Melbourne Zoo for X-rays.  If all goes well, the next step will be to re-release them into the wild.

"They have come to depend on each other, so they will stay here, and when they are both fit, they will be released together," Belinda Gales of the Chum Creek shelter told the Herald Sun.  "We don't know where they will go yet, but the main thing is that they go into a safe environment."

Australian court stops kangaroo cull near Canberra, at least temporarily
Joeys are decapitated, clubbed as byproduct of commercial kangaroo hunting industry

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Gal Shivtiel / AFP/Getty Images

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