Man Who Filmed Himself Running Over Emus Charged With Animal Cruelty

Emus - among the world's tallest and fastest birds - weigh upward of 130 pounds and can run 31 miles per hour . The birds in the video appear frightened when they realize the vehicle is coming their way.

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Man Who Filmed Himself Running Over Emus Charged With Animal Cruelty

The footage circulated on social media this week, sparking outrage in Australia


The video is blurry, but what it depicts is clear enough: A man is speeding down a dirt road in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The camera seems to be propped up on the dashboard.

As a herd of emus runs along the road in front of his car, he swerves, purposely mowing them down, one after another. In the background he can be heard shouting expletives before turning the camera on himself, laughing and shouting "Yes!"

Emus - among the world's tallest and fastest birds - weigh upward of 130 pounds and can run 31 miles per hour . The birds in the video appear frightened when they realize the vehicle is coming their way.

"This is great!" the man shouts as he runs over the massive birds. "I've got that one too, and that one."

The footage circulated on social media this week, sparking outrage in Australia. Police there said the video had been filmed some 300 miles northwest of Melbourne.

On Friday, authorities announced that they had charged a suspect in the case with animal cruelty. Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that in addition to four animal-cruelty charges, the man, 20, was also charged with speeding and using his phone behind the wheel. As he ran over the emus, the video shows, his speedometer hit around 75 mph.

The arrest comes after two other men were reportedly misidentified online as the culprits behind the attack. The Australian broadcaster reported that they had to clarify online that neither of them was the mustachioed man seen cheering as he killed the birds.

The South Australian RSPCA asked that those concerned about the video avoid publicly shaming suspects before charges had been brought.

"The community is understandably outraged and angry about this vision - as are we," the group's acting chief inspector, Cheryl Doudle, said in a statement published by SBS News. "We ask that people do not 'name and shame' alleged suspects on social media."

The suspect who was eventually charged will go to court in November.

In 2013, another Australian man faced similar animal-cruelty charges after posting a video of himself riding an emu to work like a horse. "What most overseas people get confused about Australia is they think we ride kangaroos to work, but in actual fact we ride emus," he said.

A spokesman for the RSPCA told HuffPost at the time it was not the only animal-welfare issue they had found on his account. "In one video, he was using a calf on top of his leg to do leg-stretching exercises," the spokesman said. "In another he used a dead pig like a weight."



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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