Australian teenagers charged for killing 14 kangaroos

A joey kangaroo bundled in a towel is held by an animal rescuer
Locals found a joey survivor the morning after the killings

Australian police have charged two teenage boys over the killing of 14 kangaroos in a coastal beach town south of Sydney.

Locals found the slaughtered animals on two different roads at Batemans Bay on Saturday, prompting a police investigation.

New South Wales Police said the kangaroo packs had been hit by a car. They arrested two 17-year-old boys in the town on Monday. Police did not provide any information on the motivation of the accused killers.

They have been charged with recklessly beating and killing an animal, and will appear in court next month. Under New South Wales law, anyone convicted of animal cruelty faces up to five years in jail and a fine of A$22,000 (£12,000; $15,000).

Two baby kangaroos were among the group killed, while a third that was injured was found by a local resident the next day.

Wildlife rescue service WIRES said it had taken the “single surviving joey” into its care. The volunteer service said it had been shocked by the killings in the quiet beachside area.

“This has left an indelible mark on our dedicated volunteers and local residents,” said WIRES.

On average, about 50,000 animal cruelty complaints are investigated by the RSPCA in Australia each year. Kangaroos are a commonly seen animal in the region, on the state’s south coast.

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