A dead kangaroo dressed in leopard print and holding a bottle of ouzo in its lifeless arms has been found in the Australian city of Melbourne. A passerby discovered the slain animal tied to a chair.

An investigation has been launched into the gruesome killing of the creature, which was reported in May. Authorities released the disturbing image of the "tasteless" act this week in a public appeal for information.

"The kangaroo had been shot at least three times, prior to it being arranged in the chair," senior investigator Mike Sverns of the Victoria State Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, which has joined hands with the police to solve the crime, said.

"This is appalling and immoral behaviour. 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," Sverns added.

However, this is not the first time that something like this has happened in Australia that has put kangaroos under their protected wildlife list. Under Australia's current Animal Welfare Act, penalties for illegally killing endangered species is a fine of up to A$36,500 (£21,600; $27,700) and a jail term of at least two years, the BBC reported.

In August 2016, some disturbing photos emerged online that showed a group of young men running down a kangaroo with their car. The image showed men stabbing the animal with a knife and burning it with cigarette butts.

Reports say the men had repeatedly stomped on the kangaroo until they decapitated it and then uploaded grisly images of the abuse on to Snapchat.

Kangaroo attack
Investigators said the animal was shot at least three times and then tied to a chair left on the roadside - Representational image Paul Kane/Getty