Wildlife Shot With Air Rifle Pellets Recovered And Released Into The Wild

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The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is delighted to have released two patients back into the wild after they were found with air rifle pellets lodged in their bodies; Bonnie the common brushtail possum and Cruiser the lace monitor.

In partnership with Crime Stoppers Queensland, Wildlife Warriors is working towards further protecting our native fauna, as the Wildlife Hospital continues to see a significant increase in patients who are intentionally being harmed by humans.

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“Cruiser the lace monitor was shot six times with an air rifle pellet, and was hit by a car. Thankfully, we were able to release him back into the wild following a full recovery,” said Terri Irwin, Founder of Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

“It is wonderful that Cruiser healed from his injuries, but this is just another reminder that animals need to be protected from such harmful acts, and we hope that our partnership with Crime Stoppers Queensland will lead to information on those responsible.”

Cruiser remained in care for six weeks at the Wildlife Hospital and was treated with pain relief and specialised medication. He also suffered from a fractured jaw due to being hit by a car. Cruiser was released by the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit, that operates seven days a week responding to all kinds of wildlife emergencies.

Bonnie the common brushtail possum had three air rifle pellets lodged in her body, and was carrying a joey in her pouch when she first arrived. Thankfully, she too recovered from her injuries and was released back to her natural habitat.

“With the lifesaving efforts of our veterinary team at the Wildlife Hospital, Bonnie and Cruiser received a second chance in the wild. Steve always envisioned a world where humans and wildlife would live harmoniously with each other, and we strive towards achieving that every day through our important work at Wildlife Warriors,” Terri said.

In the last two months, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital also received an ibis, a cockatoo and a second lace monitor, all with air rifle pellets lodged in their bodies. Sadly, they didn’t make it due to the severity of the injuries sustained. 

Wildlife Warriors is proud to have joined forces with Crime Stoppers Queensland and Australia Zoo in an effort to protect wild native animals from unlawful criminal activity. Significant rewards are being offered to those providing information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for such illegal acts against Queensland’s defenceless wildlife.

Wildlife Warriors was founded by Steve and Terri Irwin in 2002 as a way of including people in the conservation of the world’s most threatened wildlife species and natural habitats. Today, with eleven global conservation projects and three vast conservation properties, Wildlife Warriors continues to carry on Steve’s dream to save one, save the species. 

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital operates around the clock, 365 days a year and has treated over 110,000 animals since opening its doors in 2004. As one of the world’s largest and busiest purpose-built wildlife hospitals, we’re playing a vital role in saving Australia’s native species. 

To help us in our conservation efforts, visit wildlifewarriors.org.au.

To report a crime against wildlife, contact Crime Stoppers Queensland on 1800 333 000, anonymously.



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