Starving kangaroos are looting rubbish tips for scraps and eating almost anything left out, including cardboard, as the drought tightens its grip on far western NSW.
The roo population across the region remains high but just as livestock are pressed to find food in dustbowl paddocks, tens of thousands are struggling to survive.
Some farmers are even feeding them on the properties alongside their remaining sheep, unable to watch animals simply starve to death.
The big dry has dramatically slashed the quality of kangaroo meat, prompting processing companies that usually buy large quantities to slash quotas.
With little prospect of selling their haul, many roo hunters have put down their guns.
At Wilcannia, east of Broken Hill, only a handful are still working while at White Cliffs, about 100 kilometres further north, all three shooters who normally work the region have been forced to find other work.
Alby White, who recently retired after more than 30 years in the industry, says the drought across the shire is the worst he's seen.
"Everyone knows that everyone is struggling," he told AAP.
"When you're carting so much grain and hay into this part of the country it means that everyone is struggling."
The prevailing conditions have brought many kangaroos into the White Cliffs township, where they can be spotted any time of the day or night searching for anything edible.
On nearby properties, locals say, farmers trying to feed stock with grain often end up feeding more kangaroos than sheep.
Mob numbers are slowly falling because of the conditions but an estimated 50 million remain across the country and about 18 million in NSW.
In June this year the state government introduced a new management plan to control the population in drought-affected areas, removing the need for landholders to tag culled animals and relaxing other provisions.
The state government doesn't consider the drought a long-term threat with the roos expected to recover quickly once the drought breaks.
But for some in White Cliffs it remains difficult to see the native animals suffer and see more fall victim to roadtrains and cars as they are drawn to small amounts of grass along the highway that nighttime dew brings to life.
As bad as the current situation is both for the people and the wildlife, Mr White remains optimistic for the future of his town and the wider region along with the industry that made him a "good living" for so long.
The folk of the far west are "a resilient bunch" he said and the area would "bounce back once the rain came".
Anything would be welcome, to draw a close to the two years of drought like conditions.
Even just a few centimetres had the potential to transform the landscape.
"You get an inch of rain in one fall, it will come down the street and splash up against the footpath," Mr White said.
"The kids will all get outside and play in it."
Australian Associated Press
This story EVERY ANIMAL IS STRUGGLING: Drought even curtails kangaroo cull first appeared on Daily Liberal.