Up to 20 kangaroos dead in Australia after driver apparently mows them down, police say

As many as 20 kangaroos were killed in Australia by a driver who apparently mowed them down on purpose, police said.

The incident happened in Tura Beach in New South Wales between 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to investigators who were called to the scene the next morning.

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"Up to 20 kangaroos may have been run over by a vehicle" in an area of the southern coast, police said in a press release. The marsupials were hit by a white utility vehicle with mounted headlights, 7NEWS reported, but police didn't confirm that information to the news outlet.

As many as 20 kangaroos were mowed down in Australia on Saturday, officials said.

As many as 20 kangaroos were mowed down in Australia on Saturday, officials said. (iStock)

Janine Green said she was woken up by police, who asked her to take care of a joey who had survived the ordeal. The next morning, she said, the extent of the "carnage" had been revealed — nearly two dozen kangaroos strewn along the road, some not even dead.

"Until you see it you can't grasp the reality of it. People were just horrified, and when we took the bodies away, seeing them on the back of the [utility vehicle] was heartbreaking," she told 7NEWS.

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Green said when the kangaroos saw the vehicle's spotlights, they "would have stood there stunned" — which is what seemingly happened before they were allegedly mowed down.

A wildlife volunteer for years, Green said she's "never seen anything like it."

"Twenty kangaroos is a large amount and to hit that number must have done real damage to the vehicle," she said. "I was very sad that someone would have such low self-esteem they would think this would make them a hero...What fun could there be in this carnage, how could it make a person happy?"

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Green said she's taken in several joeys who survived after their mothers were hit.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers Australia at 1-800-333-000.