WILDLIFE carer Tracey West wonders what kind of psycho we are dealing with here.
All her experience of injured animals was not enough to prepare her for the shock she experienced when she saw the horrific and apparently deliberately inflicted injuries suffered by a possum found at One Mile on Thursday.
The possum has suffered the amputation of three of its legs, severed neatly and high up near the torso, leaving the poor creature permanently unable to survive in the wild.
And she says there will be no investigation because a vet ruled that the injuries were probably the accidental result of a box trap falling on the animal's legs.
And what is a box trap? Ms West says it is a sort of home-made improvised device, a box with one end raised on a stick attached to a bait, so the box falls when the bait is taken.
But she says no box could inflict such neatly cut injuries.
"The legs were cut within 1cm of the body - all three of them," she said.
"There was no damage to the underneath of the body. There was no jagged bone and no flesh hanging.
"My personal opinion is that someone has to have done it deliberately. But who am I to question a vet's opinion?
"To me, it's very hard to think a trap could do that.
"What actually happened, we'll never know."
Ms West is not the only one who is upset.
The woman who found the possum did not supply her name when she wrote to The Gympie Times, but described her trauma at finding the animal dumped in an open grassy area near One Mile School.
"This behaviour is in our town. This has to stop.
"Yes it was a possum, (but) it may be your child next," she said.
The young female possum was euthanised soon afterwards that day, "a peaceful end to a tortured life - tortured by someone in this town".
She gave a "huge thanks" to Ms West and her partner. "I wish there were more like you guys," she said.
Ms West agrees with the fear that a person so sadistic to an animal is only one step away from the pleasure killing of humans.
"We've already had a human torso at Cedar Pocket and human remains at Tin Can Bay, so things like that happen.
"It's very disturbing.
"If a car hurts an animal I can generally accept it.
"But someone has done something to this possum.
"The limbs are cut off way too short; too neatly.
"Is it feasible? Absolutely. Can I prove it? Absolutely not," she said.
"If we had a witness, it would be really good if someone came forward.
"The legs are cut off within 1cm of the body. There has been human intervention, I believe," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to phone RSPCA on 1300 264 625 or phone police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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