A dead wallaby was strung by a rope from a tree in Tasmania in plain sight of children, police say.
The horrific discovery was made near a BBQ area at a recreational reserve in Wynyard, on the state’s northwest coast, earlier this week.
A member of the public uploaded a photo of the incident to Facebook on Tuesday morning.
The post, showing the wallaby hanging by its neck from a branch, has since been removed.
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Police are appealing for anyone with information, particularly “in relation to the person who suspended the wallaby”.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment conducted an autopsy on the animal after the serious act of cruelty, finding that it had been dead beforehand.
“While it’s been determined the wallaby was deceased before it was suspended from the tree in the recreational reserve near Saunders St, the act of suspending the wallaby from the tree does not fit with community expectations,” Sergeant Craig Harvey said on Thursday.
“It’s concerning that the wallaby was left in a public place, in plain sight of members of our community, including children.”
RSPCA Tasmania CEO Jan Davis said she was dismayed and disgusted by the “barbaric”, “appalling” and “immoral” act.
“Leaving the dead animal hanging from the tree, in plain sight, is a heinous and deliberate act designed to create community distress,” she said in a statement.
“This is a deliberate act of animal cruelty – pure and simple – and there is no excuse for it.”
The animal welfare group hopes whoever is responsible is found and punished accordingly, Ms Davis said.
The maximum penalty for aggravated animal cruelty in Tasmania is five years behind bars and/or a fine of up to $30,000.
Information can be provided to Wynyard Police on 03 6477 7267 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as ‘Barbaric’ act against dead wallaby