The local Australian government kills more than 1,500 kangaroos around the capital city of Canberra each year, citing overpopulation. But this year, animal welfare advocates have convinced officials to contemplate another, less lethal plan: contraception.
Under the proposed plan, veterinarians would implant devices that gradually release the contraceptive drug deslorelin beneath the skin of tranquilized kangaroos. ''Deslorelin is an off-the-shelf, vet-prescribed drug that is easily available for this purpose," says Marcus Fillinger, the director of the wildlife rescue group Alphadog, in an interview with the Canberra Times.
In a study published last year, Australian researchers showed that contraceptive implants successfully reduce wild kangaroo pregnancies. The Canberra government has not yet decided if it would implement a cull in 2014, an official tells The Canberra Times, and will "seriously consider" birth control as an option.