ROTTNEST ISLAND, AUSTRALIA — Two men who filmed themselves chasing and kicking a quokka at a resort in Western Australia have been arrested by police for assaulting a vulnerable species.
Native to Western Australia, the non-threatening quokkas are vegetarians, and roughly the size of a cat. They are known to be largely unafraid of humans, so much so that people often take selfies with the marsupials to catch their adorable smile.
#Quokkaselfie is a common hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, leading many to regard the quokka as the happiest animal in the world.
On Feb. 12 at a resort on Rottnest Island, an innocent quokka walked up to two young men, who weren’t interested in a quokka selfie. Instead, one of them decided to chase the little quokka around the yard, as the other man filmed the act, laughing. The jerk then stepped things up a notch, and booted the quokka into a wall.
Footage of the cruel incident has since been passed around online, and led to the arrests of the two men, aged 20 and 21. They will appear in court next month.
The quokka is listed on the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species.