A 43-year-old man has been charged with destroying protected wildlife after the brutal killing of a kangaroo went viral on social media.
A video posted on Chinese instant messaging service QQ showed a man approaching a kangaroo, which appeared to have been shot or injured.
The man repeatedly slashed at its throat with a knife, until the animal appeared to die.
The video showed the man speaking to the kangaroo in Chinese.
“Just face it, that’s your fate, let me finish this as early as I can,” he said.
The gory video appeared to have been filmed on a smartphone and has had 3.7 million views on the site.
Eastern Grey kangaroos are protected wildlife and hunting them is illegal.
Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said a the man was arrested on Wednesday night and was charged with one count of destroying protected wildlife.
Officers also seized firearms, knives and mobile phones from the property at Ringwood, in Melbourne’s east.
‘Abhorrent’ offences in video
The department’s manager of compliance operations, Glenn Sharp, said allegations of animal cruelty are taken seriously.
“The wildlife offences captured in this video are particularly abhorrent,” he said.
“It’s pretty gruesome actually and pretty horrific that someone thinks that kind of action is acceptable.”
The video was brought to the attention of wildlife officers by members of the public.
Mr Sharp said he hoped the wide dissemination of the video would spread the message that cruelty to animals was unacceptable.
“Unfortunately sometimes videos get played and played by that many people for the wrong reasons, but hopefully this one can have the right message come out of it,” he said.
“If we can reach back to that same number of people with the message of a person has been arrested, a person is facing charges and this is illegal to do, then that would be even better.”
The man was bailed and will face the Ringwood Magistrates Court at a later date.
DELWP said it was continuing to investigate other people who may have been involved in the attack.
The penalties for destroying protected wildlife can be up to $38,000 in fines and six to 24 months in jail.