The RSCPA says it is “shocked and horrified” by footage circulating on social media depicting a utility vehicle in outback Australia deliberately running over up to a dozen emus on a dirt road as the man involved counts the number he hits and laughs maniacally.
The animal cruelty prevention charity is appealing for public help to identify a man who appears laughing at the end of the video.
“The RSPCA unequivocally condemns this type of behaviour, as it clearly shows a disregard for the lives of these vulnerable native animals, and raises grave concerns about this individual’s capacity for such behaviour,” the organisation said in a statement.
RSPCA inspectors are currently examining the footage to try and determine when and where it was filmed.
The penalties for an offence such as killing native wildlife in NSW is up to five years in prison and $22,000 in fines.
“We are appealing to the public for information, and we urge anyone with any knowledge of the source of this video to contact the RSPCA in your state, or the police immediately,” RSPCA NSW said.
In NSW please call 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589) or online.
The graphic footage can be viewed here, but a warning, it is disturbing as the flightless birds, running down the dirt road, are lined up as the car speeds at more than 115km/h towards them and they disappear under the bonnet as he counts “One, two, three!” then laughs
“F**ken emus!” he shouts as the 40 second clip begins. “This is f**king great. I’ve got that one too,” he shouts after mowing down several birds.
At least a dozen birds appear to have been hit. At the end the footage suddenly jumps to the man’s face – it may be the camera on his phone reversing from front to back – as he laughs and shouts “Yes!”
He has a moustache, is wearing a green shirt with a Driza-Bone-style vest, brown baseball cap and sunglasses.
NSW Police say it has yet to be determined where the incident occurred.
News.com.au reports that an earlier attempt to identify the man on Facebook as led to a Melbourne teenager accused of being the person receiving death threats. The man denies he is the person in the video.
The latest incident is the second time this year that footage has emerged of emus being run down deliberately.
The world’s second largest bird features on the Australian Coat of Arms.
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