Every morning, kangaroo legs, tails and paws litter Australia. They are discarded by commercial hunters. Baby joeys and young at foot are bashed or bludgeoned to death, then thrown away as waste.
The following description of the activities of a commercial kangaroo hunter is taken from an article published by ABC. The hunter has just shot a female kangaroo with a joey in its pouch and a young kangaroo at foot.
Rounding on her body, he jumps out. In a single motion, he reaches into the pouch, pulls out the joey, smashes its head against the side of the ute and flicks it into the field. This is in line with the code of conduct for shooters, which prescribes euthanasia of joeys by a blow to the skull or decapitation with a sharp blade.
From the truck, Cole spots a second youngster lingering nearby, suddenly motherless. It has to be shot — this is ethical hunting. Too small to be worth butchering, the body is left where it falls. These joeys, in-pouch and at-foot, are not counted in the official numbers killed. Collateral deaths.
“That’s life,” comes the refrain.
Cole has come home with 16 roos, a disappointing tally. He shot two more, but couldn’t find them to retrieve. He’d climbed onto the tray, looked through the monocle that uses thermal imaging to detect body heat, but no good.
The fact that Cole couldn’t find the two kangaroos he shot means that he injured them and they bounded away to die agonising deaths from their gunshot injuries.