Wallaby mistreated at Irish hotel party
By Lynn Curwin.
Dublin - Irish police are investigating after an animal, believed to be a wallaby, was manhandled on a dance floor at a large birthday party, and was reported to have died.
A bout 150 people were at a 30th birthday party at Dublin’s Liffey Valley Clarion Hotel on Saturday night when one of them opened a large box and took out an animal.
“The duty manager saw a huge commotion on the dance floor but he couldn’t see what was happening,” hotel manager Garret Marrinan told The Irish Times. “He stood on stage to get a better view, and saw what he described as a large dog coming out of the box. He couldn’t get near the area due to the crowd, and by the time he got near the place, the animal had been taken away. It was all over in about a minute.”
Hotel staff later became aware that the animal was a marsupial. They passed CCTV footage and details of the party to the Gardaí (Irish Police).
The footage shows a man in a white shirt picking up the animal as loud music plays and people shout, laugh, snap pictures and touch the frightened creature. A man then holds the animal to his groin and simulates a sex act.
It was also reported that the marsupial was set loose on the dance floor as 'Skippy the Bush Kangaroo' played.
The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) received calls from people who had been at the party and those who had seen the footage.
“Our suspicion is that the animal is a wallaby,” Orla Aungier, operations manager of the DSPCA, told The Irish Times.
“The story wasn’t a surprise to me, because we are aware wallabies are being bred here. They’re being bred in captivity, and we have seen wallabies being offered for sale in Mayo, Cavan, and Northern Ireland, with prices quoted at being between €600 and €700. Today I saw a zebra for sale in Ireland on the internet. This all gets back to the fact that we have no licensing for exotic pets in this country. There should be a register of these animals, so that we can keep a track of them; who owns them, and what happens to them.”
Wallabies, which are native to Australia, are smaller than kangaroos and are susceptible to stress.
“If it was a wallaby that was brought to that disco, it was an entirely inappropriate place for it to be. That animal would have been very distressed by the way it was being manhandled. It was cruelty,” added Aungier.
“This is why we need to publish the animal health and welfare bill as soon as possible, and establish a register of exotic pets.”
Independent reported that a garda source confirmed allegations had been made that the wallaby died after being given alcohol.
Alexander Scholl, owner of Australian Super Circus Sydney, which is not far from the hotel, was questioned about his wallabies after the incident.
"They think it was one of my wallabies but it definitely was not,” he told Independent.
"I would never lend them out to a nightclub with all the noisy music.
"Someone told them the wallaby was dead. I said if it is dead then it is not one of my wallabies. I showed them Skippy and Sydney."
The police and DSPCA are hoping anyone with information on the marsupial which was at the party will contact them.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/299177#ixzz136Mk7R2K
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