Uncle Defends Police Officer Who Stoned Wombat To Death
Australia was collectively shocked when video emerged showing an off-duty police officer stoning a wombat to death in South Australia.
In the video, you can see the shirtless killer throwing rocks at the wombat somewhere in the state's Eyre Peninsula. After repeated blows to it's body, the animal eventually dies.
"You've got him, you've got him, hit him, hit him," a man in the car says to the animal killer. "Kill him. First man I've ever seen kill a wombat on foot, bro."
The video has been condemned by thousands of people, with many shocked that someone would carry out such an unprovoked attack.
However, the uncle of the man who carried out the savage stoning has come to his nephew's defence, saying it's a traditional custom.
The uncle, who didn't want to be named, told 10 New First: "It's a custom that Indigenous people on the west coast, especially the far west coast, have used for thousands of years, as part of our hunting and gathering.
"If they've got native title over their country, which we have on the west coast of South Australia, that gives us our right to go and hunt and gather on our natural, traditional land."
But that hasn't stopped South Australia Police from sparking an investigation into the incident. A spokesperson told the Daily Mail yesterday they will be following up on the video to see if any charges can be laid.
"At this time SAPOL can confirm they are taking the situation very seriously and are closely examining the video," they said.
"An inquiry is being undertaken into this matter to first formally identify the man; and then take appropriate action as required."
Animal welfare activists were deeply saddened by the video, adding that it was too hard for some to watch it the whole way through.
Brigitte Stevens, from Wombat Awareness Organisation, has told 7News.com.au: "I just have no words. I didn't want to watch it. I often get sent things that never leave my mind, but nothing like this.
"I'm just devastated, knowing how sensitive and how kind these animals are."
She's started an online petition to get laws in South Australia changed to include wombats on the list of animals you can't kill, regardless of Native Title.
Since being started yesterday, it's received nearly 100,000 signatures and they're looking for another 50,000 to send a clear message to legislators that there is an appetite for the laws to be tightened.
Featured Image Credit: Wombat Awareness Organisation