Wallaby also targeted
UPDATE: A second 15-year-old boy has today been charged by Bundaberg Police after a trespassing and animal cruelty incident at Alexandra Park Zoo at the weekend.
A police spokesperson alleged the boy had jumped the zoo perimeter fence after hours with another boy on Saturday, March 16.
“Once inside the zoo, the boy has filmed his friend in an animal enclosure trying to antagonise an emu and wallaby by running at, and throwing rocks and bark at them,” the spokesperson said.
Both boys were dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justices Act and are due to appear in the Bundaberg Children’s Court later this month.
UPDATE: Bundaberg Police have charged a 15-year-old boy with two counts of animal cruelty and trespassing after an incident at Alexandra Park Zoo at the weekend.
Bundaberg Police obtained CCTV footage which showed two boys jumping over a locked perimeter fence prohibiting unauthorised entry after business hours at the Alexandra Park Zoo on Quay Street at 5.40pm on Saturday March 16.
“Once inside the zoo, the 15-year-old has been filmed climbing a two-metre animal exhibit fence enclosing a number of animals,” a Bundaberg Police spokesperson said.
“The 15-year-old has waved his hat at an emu causing the animal to become aggressive and charged at him. He has then thrown a rock at the emu.
“Footage then shows the teenager slap at and throw a handful of bark at a wallaby, causing the animal to charge at him in defence.
Police said the animals were distressed by the attack, however they were not physically harmed.
Footage of the attack, taken on a phone, circulated on social media sites for days after the incident occurred.
Bundaberg Now received information from the public after displaying the video, which was passed on to authorities.
Police said a 16-year-old boy believed to have filmed the incident was yet to be questioned.
Zoo security under review
Zoo Group Supervisor David Flack said in light of recent events, security arrangements at the zoo will be reviewed.
“However it is a timely reminder that the fences and signage are there for a reason – to ensure the safety of both the animals and the visitors,” he said.
“The zoo is a community facility where people can come to enjoy the animals, watch their behaviour and learn about them, so we have to balance our levels of security with the presentation of the facility.
“To ensure that members of the public have a safe and enjoyable visit, there is an expectation that they abide by the rules of the site, along with signage, and follow directions from zoo-keeping staff.
Video circulated on social media
EARLIER: Police have been called to investigate a trespassing incident and emu attack at Alexandra Park Zoo after a video was shared on social media.
The video shows someone jumping the fence to the emu enclosure, waving their hat at an emu and throwing what appears to be a stick at the animal.
The person filming can be heard to encourage the trespasser, saying “run at it, run at it, run at it”.
The video was shared to an Instagram page which has now been deleted, but not before it was shared by more than 100 people on Facebook.
Zoo Group Supervisor David Flack said it was an abhorrent act.
“We were very disappointed to see this behaviour,” Mr Flack said.
“We care very deeply about our animals, they are like family to us.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Environment portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said acts like this would not be tolerated.
“This is the second incident that has occurred at the zoo in recent times, with a donation box stolen about a month ago,” Cr Honor said.
“People should be aware that the zoo is fitted with security cameras. Police are currently reviewing the footage to get a clearer picture of the offenders and the time this incident occurred.”
Zoo staff said there appear to be no lasting impacts on the emu, which is currently healthy and happy.