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Animal Studies Journal

Abstract

Early in 2016 a photograph circulated widely of a male kangaroo holding up a dying female in the presence of a joey. Although initially taken as a moving and powerful photograph of grief, ‘experts’ quickly determined that this male may have killed the female in the process of coition. The male was in effect accused and convicted of rape and murder. Was this judgement correct? Was the male innocent or guilty? What are the nature, strength and politics of the assumptions involved in this judgement? Might he be exonerated, and why should this matter? The photograph is read and contextualised. A brief is assembled in his defence.

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