Australian Animal Welfare Group Launches Hunt for Kangaroo Beater

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An animal welfare group in Australia on Thursday launched a hunt for a young man featured in a video violently beating a kangaroo.

The grainy, 15-second video clip shows the man punching the kangaroo in the face and jabbing his knee into its chest until the dazed animal falls to the ground, where it appears to be unconscious. The cameraman can be heard laughing in the background.

A link to the film was sent to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Western Australia state last week.

"When it comes across your desk and you see these sorts of things, it just knocks the wind out of your sails," said Steve Coleman, the society's chief executive officer in New South Wales. "This animal is clearly defenseless, and they're laughing ... It's just horrific."

The society does not know where or when the footage was shot and said the pornographic Web site where it was originally featured has since removed it.

It's not clear from the video whether the attack resulted in the death of the animal. Coleman said the kangaroo may have been ill or injured, or someone's pet, which could explain why it didn't bolt.

Penalties for animal cruelty vary by state in Australia, but can involve jail terms and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.

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