An online advertisement offering baby kangaroos for sale in the US has caused backlash from viewers in Australia, with one person calling it “bloody outrageous”.
The post, shared locally on Facebook, shows six joeys dressed in disposable nappies, playing on a zebra skin rug.
The business appearing to be behind the original advertisement offers neutered males for US $2,500 and females for a hefty US $5,000.
Kangaroos bred a long way from home
The company behind the ad, Tri Lakes Exotics, is based in the US state of Texas and claims to sell a number of exotic species including “quality zebras, camels and kangaroos”.
While it is illegal to raise kangaroos as pets in most Australian states, Texas – which is over 14,000km from the animal’s native home – allows people to keep them if they obtain a license.
One Texan wrote: “Looks like lots of fun to me!”, while another person said, “I want them all”.
In Australia, however, the response to the advertisement has been largely critical with calls mounting for the animals to be brought home.
“Poor poor little babies, I want to fly over there and bring them all back!” one user wrote.
Another comment suggested selling the animals was an “utter disgrace”, while many criticised raising the wild animals as pets.
‘Serious concern’ about the exotic wildlife trade
The disturbing ad gained traction after a censored version was shared to a Facebook page for the Australian documentary ‘Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story’.
Co-director of the documentary Mick McIntyre told Yahoo News Australia he shared the post because “it shocks us that this wildlife is for sale on social media”.
Donalea Patman from local charity For the Love of Wildlife also shared the disturbing photo online, writing that breeding exotic pets was a serious concern.
“The exotic pet trade needs to be urgently addressed as it is having an immense impact on the wild populations of so many species,” Ms Patman wrote.
She went on to express concern about the living conditions the joeys will be subjected to as they grow.
“In the wild they transverse enormous spaces, living in mobs and yet a solitary, confined, miserable life awaits each and every one of them.”
A Department of Agriculture spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia “it is not possible to bring these animals to Australia” as the local herd could be put at risk.
“Any concerns about their welfare can be raised with the relevant authorities in Texas,” the spokesperson suggested.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time a native Australian animal has been put up for sale overseas.
Tri Lakes Exotics has been contacted for comment.
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