An Australian animal welfare charity is investigating shocking footage shared online that shows a man repeatedly slicing the throat of a kangaroo.
The cellphone clip, thought to have been filmed in New South Wales and later posted to Chinese social media sites, opens with an injured kangaroo lying on a hillside in the moments before a man with a large hunting knife approaches, BBC reported.
The animal tries to ward him off, prompting the assailant to grab onto its tail and stand on its back. He then proceeds to cut the kangaroo’s throat — nearly 20 times — until it stops moving.
Laughter can be heard in the background of the video, which has since gone viral.
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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is looking into the matter, according to BBC. Australian law allows for a maximum of five years in prison in such cases if the prosecution can prove malicious intent.
Some online initially speculated the incident was a mercy killing, intended to end the wounded kangaroo’s suffering.
If criminal intent cannot be proven, the law provides for a maximum of two years behind bars.
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