By Jed Lanyon
Police are on the hunt for a person responsible for shooting a cockatoo with a bow and arrow in the Wandin area.
A Sulphur-crested cockatoo was found with an arrow protruding through its head causing outrage online among locals.
The bird was first pictured on Albert Street, Wandin on Monday 15 February and has been spotted again in Mount Evelyn today.
The cockatoo remains alive and mobile as locals and wildlife authorities have been unsuccessful in their attempts to capture the injured animal. The extent of the bird’s injuries are unknown.
Wandin resident and wildlife rescuer Shareen Bradbrook told Star Mail she also found a cockatoo pierced with an arrow on her property earlier in the week.
“It was alive and I was horrified,” she said.
“Sadly this isn’t uncommon, but to have it in your own home is a bit scary. Wandin’s a very family friendly community. It’s horrifying knowing someone in our community can be so heartless and cruel.”
Ms Bradbrook along with many other wildlife rescuers are among a search party of volunteers looking for the bird. Ms Bradbrook said she is fearing for the worst outcome as time continues to pass.
Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma is asking local residents to come forward with any information about the perpetrator.
“At the moment we are aware of two sulphur-crested cockatoos harmed in this way… The issue more broadly is that we are seeing this is a common form of wildlife cruelty that is inflicted on our animals.
“We’re seeing a lot of cases of eastern grey kangaroos shot with arrows in a similar way and other species as well. It is unfortunately a lot more common than you would think.
“I really hope the authorities are able to track down and arrest the perpetrator.”
Wildlife Justice MP Andy Meddick took the issue to state parliament on Tuesday 16 February calling on the Victorian Government to ban bow hunting.
“I am sickened by this disturbing act of cruelty,” he said. “It is one of the most horrendous images of cruelty I have seen.
“There has been a concerning increase in bow hunting attacks on native animals across Victoria. While bow hunting native animals is illegal – it is allowed for some other species. This allows the access to weapons, which are not registered like firearms are, making it almost impossible to find the culprit.
“Bow hunting should be made illegal for all animals, in all circumstances. Whether an animal is a native or non-native, an arrow throw the body is a cruel, slow and painful way to die.”
In Victoria, all wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is illegal to hunt, take, destroy, injure or interfere with wildlife and severe penalties apply.
The maximum penalty for hunting, taking or destroying wildlife ranges from $8261 to $41,305 and/or six to 24 months imprisonment.
This is the third incident in the last seven months of wildlife being shot with an arrow, which includes a cockatoo in Beaconsfield Upper and a brushtail possum in Badger Creek
If you know something about this incident, or other wildlife crime, contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au
If you see the cockatoo, contact DELWP on 136 186 to find your nearest wildlife rescue group.