“I was always an animal lover,” Ms Gynther, 55, told news.com.au. “But I lived in a very remote area, no internet, no work, no training, which forced me to go into an industry like that.”
She worked as a kangaroo hunter for five years in the 1980s – but hated every second of it.
“It’s a part of my life I’d like to erase,” she said, describing her time as a shooter in rural Queensland when she was just 17.
“I feel guilty, I realised how much damage I did within those animals’ families.”
When she had her own family to care for, she got out of that “filthy dirty industry”.
“I got out as soon as I could, managing a motel. It was absolutely a lot better, rather than being up to your elbows in blood and guts.”
In an ironic twist, Ms Gynther is now helping kangaroos affected by the catastrophic bushfires that have devastated parts of the state.
In fact, it was difficult to arrange a time to talk to Ms Gynther as she puts out food for kangaroos three times a day since the fires hit Queensland in November, and barely has time for a call.
She said it was impossible to quit her occupation as a kangaroo shooter “until you get away from those influences in small towns”.
“Once I moved, it was a different ball game. As time went on, I got back into caring for animals,” Ms Gynther said.
She’s now turned into an animal activist, and is a key part of Kangaroos Alive, a group devoted to stopping kangaroo killing.
“On an average night, I shot 60 roos,” she told news.com.au. “It was nothing to have 15-20 people shooting (kangaroos) every night in the one area. Most shooters work five or six days a week. That’s wiping out entire mobs of kangaroos in a few days.”
Ms Gynther has been extremely busy since the fires tore through her area.
“The animals are in poor condition anyway because of the drought and then the bushfires came.
“They’re already tired, they’ve already had a big fight to get out of the bushfires, no food, now they need to travel further to find food, cluster fences have locked them out of where there’s water.
“It’s a bad situation made worse for these poor kangaroos.”