Mutilated koala the latest in a string of animal cruelty cases in south-west Victoria
Police are investigating the mutilation of a koala on Victoria’s far south-west coast, the latest in a string of alleged animal cruelty cases.
The koala was discovered with its ears cut off by a State Emergency Service worker on Hopkins Point Road in Warrnambool earlier this week.
Authorities say there has been a spate of similar mutilations in the area involving kangaroos and wallabies.
“It’s believed that the koala was most likely hit by a vehicle and then very soon after the ears were chopped off,” Senior Constable Lee Stewart said.
“Possibly one of the ears was cut off while it was either unconscious or still alive.”
Senior Constable Stewart said while investigations were ongoing it was believed to be the first time a koala had been targeted.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen a vehicle or people in the vicinity of Hopkins Point Road on November 6 to come forward.
Ears, body parts removed as ‘souvenirs’
The incident is the latest in a string of alleged attacks on animals.
Earlier this year a decapitated young wallaby was found near Thunder Point in Warrnambool with police treating the incident as a deliberate act.
Less than a year prior, a driver of a four-wheel-drive allegedly deliberately ran down and killed two kangaroos in Port Campbell, west of Geelong.
Senior Constable Stewart said police were investigating other incidents where the ears or other parts of animals had been removed as souvenirs.
“These other incidents have occurred in the Warrnambool region. But this particular section of road where this has occurred, generally you don’t get many people there,” he said.
“So we’re just hoping someone has heard something or seen something.”
The RSPCA said while it was aware of the most recent incident it was not involved in the investigation.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said anyone found to be involved in cruelty to animals could be fined and prosecuted.