A man has been arrested after he was filmed killing a wounded kangaroo – an unnecessary and brutal act, not a "mercy killing" as some may claim.
In the horrific video, which was originally posted on the Chinese social media portal QQ, appears to show a man approaching an Eastern gray kangaroo – a protected species – in New South Wales wielding a large hunting knife. He originally walks up to the kangaroo in its line of vision, and it reacts by kicking at him. He then circles around behind it, steps on its back to pin it down, then cuts its throat 18 times.
In the background, people can be heard laughing throughout the entire, gruesome ordeal.
“The killing of this kangaroo is barbaric and cruel and we expect the police to prosecute the man involved,” World Animal Protection Senior Campaign Manager Ben Pearson told reporters via a statement, per news.com.au.
“It is hard to understand how anyone could commit such a brutal act, let alone film it.”
The video was brought to the Australian wing of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and they’ve told BBC News that they were investigating the case. It’s early days, but it’s being reported that the man in the video has since been detained by the authorities.
A 43-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday night in a suburb of Melbourne after this case was brought to their attention. Multiple firearms and knives were seized from the property he was arrested in.
The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning (DELWP) has also noted that they are trying to identify the other people in the video.
If it is deemed that the act was one of animal cruelty, then the man could be given one of several punishments. If there was intent to make the kangaroo suffer, then he could be put in prison for five years. If no such intent can be conclusively proven, then he could still be jailed for two years and a fine of up to $38,000.
At the time of writing, the suspect has not been charged, but thanks to that viral video, it's unlikely he'll get away with it.