THREE animals with gunshot wounds have been taken to Australia Zoo hospital in the past three days with Terri Irwin urging anyone with information to call police.
A brushtail possum, a lace monitor and an osprey were admitted for different causes, however, all three patients had pellets embedded from having been previously shot with an air rifle.
Australia Zoo’s Terri Irwin said: “It is up to all of us to protect native wildlife and bring justice to animals who are wrongfully injured by humans, just like Bonnie, Cruiser and Dino. We hope that those with information about criminal activity against wild animals can help us create an extra layer of protection, by contacting Crime Stoppers Queensland,” said Terri Irwin, Founder of Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.
The brushtail possum, named Bonnie, was found with a skin infection and an injury to her eye.
Upon conducting an x-ray, the veterinary team discovered that Bonnie had three pellets scattered throughout her body, and was carrying a joey in her pouch, who was named Jella.
“Our team at the Wildlife Hospital was devastated to discover three lodged pellets, one of which was completely shattered around the bone,” said Dr. Ludo, Wildlife Veterinarian and Supervisor at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
“Bonnie and her joey Jella are rehabilitating in the Wildlife Hospital’s ICU, and we hope that they are back in the wild upon a full recovery,” Dr. Ludo said.
The following day, the lace monitor, named Cruiser, was admitted after being hit by a car. An x-ray showed that he too had been previously shot with an air rifle.
Cruiser’s health has remarkably improved from when he first arrived, and will remain in care until he can be released back into his natural habitat, the zoo said.
“It is then extremely saddening to admit patients like Bonnie and Cruiser who were intentionally harmed in the wild, where they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves,” Dr. Ludo said.
On the third day, the Wildlife Hospital treated an osprey, named Dino, who was admitted with a lodged pellet and neurological trauma.
Sadly, due to the severity of Dino’s injuries, he was humanely euthanised.
Wildlife Warriors has partnered with Crime Stoppers Queensland and Australia Zoo to further protect wild animals from unlawful criminal activity.
Significant rewards of $1,000 are being offered for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for these illegal acts against wildlife.