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Dead Koala Hung From Gate In 'Sickening' Rural Crime

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. Authorities are investigating after a koala was found hanging by its neck from a farm gate in northern NSW.

"Extremely disturbing" photos of the dead animal were posted to the North Coast Crime group on Facebook on Wednesday.

The koala was said to have been found at Ellangowan, south of Lismore, near the NSW-Queensland border.

Photo: North Coast Crime/Facebook

"The relevant authorities have been notified," the page owners said, alongside the pictures.

The images, described as "extremely disturbing animal cruelty"were originally uploaded to -- then deleted from  -- another Facebook page.

It is unknown if the animal died before or after being hung from the gate, and exactly when the pictures were taken.

"The person posting did not appear to know why the koala was killed or why it was strung up on the gate," North Coast Crime said.

Photo: North Coast Crime/Facebook

RSPCA NSW told 10 daily it had received a report about the incident, and that the investigation was being led by rangers from Richmond Council.

Friends of the Koalas president, Ros Irwin told ABC North Coast that the animal  juvenile wasn't hit by a car but may have fallen from a tree.

"We would just hope that the animal was in fact dead when she was placed on the gate but we have no knowledge about that," she said.

"The rangers are outraged that this has happened because it's a very disrespectful way of treating a koala, even if it's dead."

10 daily has contacted Richmond Council for comment.