An eastern grey kangaroo, lovingly named Jerry, was admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital last month after his mother was hit by a car.
The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit responded to the call for help and transported the joey to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for a health check. Unfortunately, Jerry's mother didn't survive.
"We estimate Jerry was around 8 months old when he came in to the hospital," said Dr Ludovica Valenza, "During the health check, we discovered that the joey had in fact been shot, the x-ray confirming two pellets were still lodged in his body."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time we have seen wildlife purposefully harmed admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. "We treat birds that have been maliciously poisoned, or animals that have been shot like Jerry," shared Dr Ludovica, "In fact, we have seen a dozen macropods either purposefully poisoned or shot since the hospital opened."
After discovering the pellets in Jerry's hip, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital team got to work to remove them. "The hospital is vital to the survival of animals like Jerry. Without treatment, he would have suffered for a long time," said Dr Ludovica.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital reports all cases of animal cruelty to the appropriate authorities, and assists in prosecuting the persons responsible wherever possible.
Jerry is now recovering with a specialised wildlife carer, who takes care of him around the clock. He will stay in care until he is able to be released back to the wild.
Since opening in 2004, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has treated over 5,000 macropods, over 50% of them have been eastern grey kangaroos like Jerry.
Kangaroos are protected by law, and shooting them without a permit is illegal.