A woman who caused a social media outcry after she posted a photo of a dead brushtail possum online has been found guilty of killing the protected animal.
The photo, which was posted on Facebook on February 19 and has been since removed, showed two women with the dead possum, police told the court.
Mikala Ann Burns, 24, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to shooting the animal in the Amamoor State Forest on January 24.
The photo, which was posted on Facebook on February 19 and has been since removed, showed two women with the dead possum
She initially denied shooting the animal following a barrage of angry comments on Facebook – but eventually admitted it in the Gympie Magistrates Court, The Gympie Times reported.
She also pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging a weapon in Amamoor State Forest, and with using a firearm without a permit, during the same course of action.
Ms Burns shot and killed the animal while she was taking part in night hunt, in which she was searching for dog food, the court was told.
Kingaroy Crime Squad detectives, who investigated the incident, said the 24-year-old told police she was using spotlights at the time to hunt for kangaroos.
The court heard Ms Burns shot the animal after she saw its eyes in the grass and thought it was a hare.
She claimed she also fired twice to ensure the animal wasn’t wounded, and she didn’t know ‘discharging a weapon’ was an offence, the court heard.
Ms Burns shot and killed the brushtail possum while she was taking part in night hunt, in which she was searching for dog food, the court was told (stock)
Ms Burns pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging a weapon in Amamoor State Forest (pictured), and with using a firearm without a permit, during the same course of action
Ms Burns’ solicitor told the court his client had ‘learned a valuable lesson’ following the social media backlash – especially when faced with the prospect of fines and possible jail time.
‘The animal was wounded and she did the humane thing and shot it (again),’ the solicitor said.
Magistrate Chris Callaghan concluded Ms Burns shot the possum, but didn’t identify her target and had realised it was wounded.
‘Shooting in the forest was the most serious (of the charges),’ Magistrate Callaghan said. ‘Someone else could have been there.’
He fined the 24-year-old $1000 – which he suggested she convert to community service – with no conviction recorded given she didn’t have any prior convictions.
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Woman, 24, who caused a social media outcry after posting a photo of a dead possum online is found guilty of killing the protected animal have 691 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at May 1, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.