SOCIAL media erupted yesterday after a user reported seeing a Stanthorpe police officer shoot a wallaby six times while the man and his daughter watched on.
While it is easy to judge the situation at first, it soon became apparent the shooting was an act of mercy.
A wildlife carer said she was grateful the officer quickly and humanely euthanised the animal, which had been injured earlier.
Her sentiments were echoed by Stanthorpe police officer in charge Mark Ireland who defended the actions of the officer involved.
Senior Sergeant Ireland said although euthanising animals was a regular part of the job for the region's officers, it was also a difficult one.
While it is easy to judge a situation from the outside, this is undoubtedly an unpleasant but inevitable part of being a police officer in rural and regional areas like Warwick, Stanthorpe and surrounding areas.
Kangaroos, cattle, horses and other animals are often injured on our roads and by other means and police attend scenes before any other person.
While it is human nature to be instantly repulsed by the thought of pulling a gun to shoot something like a little wallaby, we have to remind ourselves that the animal was suffering.
The alternative is prolonged and unnecessary pain for the animal.
Kerri Moore, Print Editor