In a short video posted on social media Saturday, a young man was shown approaching a possum sitting on top of a fence in the Canterbury, New Zealand town of Waimate. The man carefully approached the animal and with no provocation, punched the possum in the face, sending the animal flying through the air. Laughter could be heard in the background.
According to the Facebook page of Newstalk ZB radio show The Country, viewers had been divided in their opinions – some calling the act animal cruelty while others contended the act was condoned since possums are considered pests in New Zealand and can disrupt the nesting habits of native birds.
Newshub, however reports the act had been “deliberate cruelty” and not pest control.
“Punching an animal in the face is appalling. It’s animal cruelty – pure and simple – and there is no excuse for it,” stated Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE). “This brutal behavior has nothing to do with animal management. What we are seeing in this video is someone abusing animals. Their laughing response in t he video illustrates the toxic attitude towards some animals that is sadly commonplace in New Zealand.”
The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also condemned the act. The incident is currently under investigation. There have not been any reports whether the possum survived.
The video can be viewed here.
WARNING: Graphic video and very disturbing. This may not be appropriate for all viewing audiences.
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