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A woman has sparked widespread outrage after she was filmed appearing to force a quokka to vape from an e-cigarette in Western Australia.
The video, obtained by Nine News, shows a woman holding a vaporiser in front of a quokka on Rottnest Island with the caption, “vape sesh”.
The quokka reaches for the vaporiser with its mouth.
RSPCA WA's Hannah Dreaver is furious and told Nine News the footage is “completely and utterly irresponsible and unacceptable”.
The woman in the video is yet to be caught. Yahoo News Australia contacted RSPCA WA for comment about the incident.
Quokkas, which are small marsupials native to WA, have often suffered from cruel pranks all in the name of social media video clicks.
In 2018, it emerged Instagram had issued a warning for anyone looking for photos of quokkas on its platform through the hashtag #quokkaselfie. That warning is still active.
“Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram,” the warning reads.
“You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.”
Quokkas are not the only species subjected to cruelty on social media either.
Four Paws International’s Sarah Ross told Yahoo News Australia last month people even stage situations where animals appear to be in trouble then save them just in the name of clicks.
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