FUZHOU, China – One kangaroo is dead and another is injured after visitors at a Chinese zoo hurled rocks and other objects at them in two separate incidents.
The Straits Times reports the first pelting happened at the end of February (though China Daily says it happened in early April), when gawkers decided to throw bricks and pieces of concrete at kangaroos at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian province to get them to hop around.
A 12-year-old female marsupial was struck on her left foot, per ABC Australia, but although zookeepers tended to the animal’s bleeding limb, they apparently didn’t account for internal injuries. The kangaroo died a few days later, and a vet’s report says it was probably from a ruptured kidney.
Then, in mid-April, a repeat of the projectile-throwing, this time resulting in minor injuries to a 5-year-old male kangaroo who is expected to be OK. Per AsiaOne, the zoo’s breeder says the kangaroos tend to rest for most of the day, with only a window of a few hours where they’re active, and so visitors have on occasion thrown objects at them to spur them out of sleep or just get them to move around.
The zoo does have cameras near certain animal enclosures, but they’re usually turned toward the animals, not the visitors; staff is now vying for money for high-def surveillance cameras after these incidents.
Meanwhile, the zoo will now only allow three kangaroos out at a time for public viewing, and it plans on stuffing the dead kangaroo and putting her on display. (A UK zoo had to put all of its mammals on birth control.)