A headless kangaroo allegedly found in the Wanniassa Hills Nature Reserve was not the victim of the latest kangaroo cull, according to Territory and Municipal Services.
A photograph titled ''decapitated joey'' was circulated on local website the-riotact.com yesterday with reference to the cull.
The animal was found ''decapitated'' south of Long Gully Road and the utes had ''moved in for the kill'', according to the person who posted the photograph.
But Parks and Conservation director Daniel Iglesias said the animal pictured had most likely been hit by a car.
''I can definitely tell you it's not part of our cull,'' he said. ''First of all, the picture I'm looking at, the animal is so mangled, I can't be 100 per cent sure it's even a kangaroo but I'm going to assume it is.
''Long Gully Road is probably the number one hotspot for collisions between vehicles and kangaroos and this kangaroo has been hit by a car. There's broken bones, it is completely mangled in a way that is consistent with vehicles hitting kangaroos.''
When asked if the head was usually missing from a kangaroo hit by a car, Mr Iglesias said ''sometimes it is''.
''It could be because of predators. Particularly this area, we have lots and lots of foxes,'' he said.
Mr Iglesias said culled kangaroos were removed from the area ''almost immediately'' by the contractor.
''Our planning accounts for a very, very scripted process whereby when the animal is shot, it's identified, it's retrieved and it's disposed of and we account for every single one, to the point where at the end of the night, there is not one animal left behind,'' he said.
The code of conduct for the humane destruction of kangaroos in the ACT allows for the decapitation for ''very small hairless young'' or lethal injection or head shot at close range for larger young. The joeys that were decapitated were far smaller than the one in the photograph.
''The joeys that are dependent on the mother are very, very small. They're about the size of your hand. This animal [in the photograph] is a sub-adult, independent of its mother and it's just been hit by a car.''
Nine ACT nature reserves are closed until June 12 to allow for a cull of up to 2015 ''over-abundant'' Eastern Grey kangaroos to ''protect the integrity of ecosystems''.
The nature reserves closed are Callum Brae, Crace, Goorooyaroo, Jerrabomberra West, Kama, Mount Painter, Mulligans Flat, the Pinnacle and Wanniassa Hills.