joey and mother

Above: in the centre of a killing field, kangaroos lie trapped and exhausted. A mother stands minutes from death feeding her joey (centre)

Below: a lone joey (foreground three quarters to right) stands separated from mother, while panicking kangaroos are forced further down the 'funnel' to meet their death by dart and injection. All, including the joey, were killed. How joeys met their death has not been revealed.

lone joey

Above: in this extreme enlargement, a worker can be seen adjusting the wire fence of the kill zone. A kangaroo, attempting to escape, has his head jammed between metal uprights.


Above: Kangaroos, realising death lies behind the raised hessian covered fence top right, attempt to run the other way. Flapping hessian also caused chaos. Note the crude wire running above the metal fence to top right. Animals were injured by the wire fences. Mothers with pouch joeys at left. One kangaroo, in a brave attempt to escape, actually jumped above the top of the kill fence, over the height of two tall men, but then fell to his death.

About five kangaroos escaped out of about 500 by leaping these fences. It is believed that a few managed to get under a 3 metre high barbed boundary fence.

BELOW: Just outside the area where they are to be killed, the remaining kangaroos wait, trapped and exhausted. A young joey stands, with mother, centre. Another kangaroo, wearing a white collar, indicating she is already subject to experimentation and is not to be executed, will have to be re-darted (anaethetised), again before (if surviving) being returned to an experimental enclosure. (Day 7)

Day 7

Seasoned campaigners and wild life carers agreed on two points: the 'cull' (although approved by the RSPCA) was not humane, and it was the most sickening act of mass cruelty they have ever seen. Even an Iraq war photographer thought it worse than anything he'd seen in that country.

By continuing such 'culls' (kills) Australia continues to show it lacks sensitivity to the suffering it inflicts on millions of its kangaroos (and other native wildlife) every year. Even a large wild life sanctuary near Canberra, in an act of extraordinary insensitivity, invited paying visitors to partake of a meal of cooked kangaroo, possum and emu meat to demonstrate what indigenous people occasionally hunted and ate. The difference is, of course, that the well-heeled whites scoffing down the mass killed wildlife are not hunting with spears on a subsistence basis. In fact the meat was pre-supplied by a butcher specialising in native animal meat. Attendees of the function enjoyed a barbeque within view of living emus and kangaroos. Stop press: the BBQ was a dismal failure. Only one individual - and child -- attended the BBQ - they were outnumbered by six (vegetarian) protestors.

Euphemisms: in Australia, according to government propaganda, kangaroos are no longer shot or slaughtered. Their joeys do not have their heads bashed against a 4 wd vehicle. They are simply 'harvested', just like rose petals. Their killers are not shooters anymore: they are now 'field process workers.' Perhaps the government is feeling just a little heat from their international critics?

Photographs © Ray Drew 2008. Available for use by approved animal rights organisations.