Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Australia Gives Hundreds of Kangaroos Birth Control in Annual Cull

 / Updated 
Image: Chuck the kangaroo, with a joey in her pouch, looks out from her enclosure in a zoo in the western Siberian city of Barnaul
Chuck the kangaroo, with a joey in her pouch, looks out from her enclosure in a zoo in the western Siberian city of Barnaul March 29, 2014. The zoo bought the kangaroo in 2013, believing it to be male until staff observed the cub in its pouch this month, local media reported. REUTERS/Andrei Kasprishin (RUSSIA - Tags: ANIMALS)ANDREI KASPRISHIN / Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Officials in Australia's capital Canberra are expected to shoot dead more than 1,600 kangaroos in this year's annual cull - a big increase from 2013.

But according the Sydney Morning Herald around 500 of the marsupials will escape death because of an experiment to given them the contraceptive pill in a bid to control their numbers.

The move is designed to soften the blow for protesters angry at the increased numbers of kangaroos expected to be killed this year.

The government is working with local animal rights group Alphadog and is planning to tranquilize the kangaroos before giving them a fertility drug called Deslorelin.

Eight nature reserves around the capital were closed from Wednesday night and two shooters have been contracted out by the gunmen to carry out the cull.

- Alexander Smith

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news