Authorities have confirmed that one kangaroo has died and another was injured after spectators began throwing rocks into the enclosure to try and provoke the kangaroos into hopping. During this time a 12-year-old female kangaroo was struck by a sharpened rock on its ankle and began bleeding.
Zoo authorities then stepped in and treated the kangaroo after dismissing the crowd but failed to notice that the kangaroo had also suffered an injury to the back. It was this injury, and the resultant internal bleeding, that caused the kangaroo’s death some time later. An autopsy helped reveal the cause of death.
Pics of the bricks that visitors hurled at kangaroos at the zoo in Fujian, killing one and injuring another. Zoo staff say visitors often throw objects at animals despite it being ‘prohibited’. pic.twitter.com/KwFCIcfRQ9— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) April 20, 2018
In a similar incident, a few days later another visitor hurled a rock at a 5-year-old male and injured him. However, the zoo has revealed that he will recover from his injuries.
The zoo has since restricted the number of kangaroos present in the enclosure at any one time, and have also applied for funding to get high-resolution surveillance cameras to help catch people who throw rocks.
The kangaroo breeder told local reporters that it was surprisingly common for visitors to throw rocks into the marsupial cages to try and encourage them to jump and perform. Marsupials are often inactive at the same time that visitor numbers are at their highest, and during periods of inactivity they will often lounge under trees and in shade.
Meanwhile the internet response has been predictably angry. One online user wrote,
“Animals in the zoo are there to help us better understand them and ourselves. They're not responsible for performing as you wish. Such visitors should be blacklisted!”
While another tweeted pictures of the stones thrown prompting responses such as,
“Disgusting! Australian wildlife should be withdrawn from overseas zoos where care is deemed substandard, Tennoji Zoo Osaka is also atrocious.”
“This is utterly heartbreaking and vile. Makes me hate human beings.”
“It’s a sad incident which proves how humans fall below humanity. Any Zoo is an animal jail and animal treatment is desolate!!”
Meanwhile the zoo has revealed that current surveillance footage is inadequate, and there is no recording showing who threw the rocks as the cameras currently point towards the animals and not the people.