A $5000 reward has been offered for information about the killer of a kangaroo found tied to a chair, wearing a leopard-print shawl and cap, with a bottle of ouzo in its arms in Mernda.

 The kangaroo was found on Plenty Road last month by a passerby.

 Its death is being investigated by the Department of Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and has prompted the People for the Ethical

 Treatment of Animals (PETA) group to offer a $5000 reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of the person or people responsible.

 Department senior investigator Mike Sverns said the kangaroo had been shot at least three times before being set up in the chair.

 “This is appalling and immoral behaviour and we are urging anyone with information to come forward,” Mr Sverns said.

 “It would have taken some time to stage the kangaroo in that position on the side of the road and we are certain that someone would have seen something, given the public area and traffic flow of this main road.

 “Killing and interfering with protected native wildlife are serious offences. We are urging anyone living in the communities of Mernda, Doreen and Yarrambat to assist us with our investigation.”

 Under the Wildlife Act, penalties for killing, destroying and being in control of unlawfully taken protected wildlife range from $7500 to $36,500 and/or six to 24 months’ jail.

 PETA campaigns associate director Ashley Fruno said the organisation was offering a reward because it wanted those responsible brought to justice.

 “Animal abusers are cowards,” she said. “We’re appealing to anyone with information about this cruel act.”

 Anyone with information is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.