By Richard Ashmore
This is the sickening moment a mindless thug was filmed by a laughing accomplice kicking a tiny Australian marsupial around a front yard.
The disturbing footage shows a gangly man in a grey shirt and skinny black ripped jeans launching huge kicks towards the miniature kangaroo-like animal, the quokka, which is only found on Rottnest Island, near Perth, Western Australia.
Quokkas are world famous for their friendly nature and natural smiling pose caused by the way their teeth are set which has made them a must-have selfie animal for tourists.
But at just under a foot tall the animals have also been subject to attacks and this latest incident is thought to have happened over the weekend.
The harrowing video found by the Mandurah Mail newspaper starts with the little creature – which weigh only around 3kg – sitting in the yard when a man comes in from the left of the shot and swings a heavy kick towards it.
The man then follows the animal around the yard before attacking it again from behind a tree. This second time it’s thought the man can be heard saying ‘come here you little c***’ before he sickeningly connects with a kick and sends the dazed critter smack into a wall.
Western Australia Police said two men were being questioned in connection with the incident.
It’s not the first time the much-loved marsupials have come under attack by humans. In 2015 two French tourists were fined $4,000 (£2,500) each after pleading guilty to animal cruelty towards a quokka. The pair were jailed after failing to raise enough money to pay the fine.
CEO of the Rottnest Island Authority, Michelle Reynolds, said: “The Rottnest Island Authority is actively supporting the Rottnest Island Police and Department of Parks and Wildlife in investigating the recent incident involving a quokka.
“Rottnest is one of the last sanctuaries available in the world for this threatened species. The safety of quokkas and viability of the population is a priority for the Authority.”