Kookaburra's Head Ripped Off In 'Horrific' Pub Attack
The RSPCA is investigating after the head was allegedly ripped off a friendly kookaburra which had been a regular visitor to a pub in Western Australia.
The Parkerville Tavern, east of Perth, reported on Friday that 'Kevin' the kookaburra had been killed in a "barbaric attack on one of nature’s gifts." The pub did not detail what exactly happened to the bird, who was a regular guest to the establishment.
However, it has been reported that a middle-aged man grabbed Kevin and pulled his head off after it flew down and landed on his plate while dining on Friday.
"We are so sorry for those who witnessed this despicable act and whilst for many (especially the children) the memory of seeing such a thing will remain fresh for some time yet, please take comfort in knowing that the whole community is standing together against this type of behaviour," the Tavern said on Facebook.
"This is not the norm and will not be tolerated. The matter is being dealt with by the authorities, so we will know more about what the outcome will be soon."
In response to one person who asked whether the person allegedly responsible for the act would be welcome at the pub again, the Tavern replied "Never."
"We are still taking stock about what has happened and the situation is being dealt with further by police. We’ve been advised to not comment further at the moment, but we can confirm that this matter is by no means put to bed," the pub's comment continued.
A sign posted on the Tavern's Facebook page talked about Kevin as "one of our locals" who had "a love for the Parky Steak Sandwich and fish". The pub had warned patrons to "be mindful" of their meals in the garden, saying that Kevin needed "some table manners", saying he "will sneak up and steal" food.
"So sorry for all those who knew and loved Kevin, and those who had to witness what happened," read one of many comments on the pub's Facebook page.
"He was so cheeky and we always had a giggle when he would steal food," wrote another person.
"We are devastated at the loss of Kevin. He often shared a meal with our kids when they took too long to come from the playground," said one woman.
In a Facebook post, RSPCA Western Australia said it was aware of the alleged incident, which it called "another senseless act of violence against an animal" -- but said the person allegedly responsible may not be able to be charged with animal cruelty.
"An RSPCA WA Inspector has made inquiries. Sadly, right now under Western Australian law, it does not appear that this horrific act constitutes an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2002," the RSPCA said in a statement.
"Animal Welfare law in WA is based on cruelty and suffering, and due to the quick nature of this bird's demise, it does not appear to meet the level of suffering required to become an offence under the law. Because of that, RSPCA WA Inspectors may not be able to prosecute for animal cruelty."
The animal protection body said the incident "may have contravened laws designed specifically to protect native wildlife" however, and authorities including police and the state's Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will meet on Monday.
The RSPCA said this was a "gap" in WA's animal rights laws, and asked supporters to make a submission to a current review of said legislation.
"If you are outraged by this horrific incident, please take the time to make a submission to the review to demand animal welfare laws that protect animals from senseless violence, such as this," the RSPCA said.
"Anyone witnessing cruelty to animals is urged to report it immediately to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (278 358)."