SHANGHAI (AFP) - Visitors to a zoo in south-eastern China killed one kangaroo and injured another by throwing bricks at them in an attempt to get a reaction from the big marsupials, state media reported.
A 12-year-old female kangaroo suffered a severely injured foot when it was struck by bricks and concrete chunks on February 28 at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian province, China Central Television reported.
The kangaroo died days later and an examination by a veterinarian revealed that the cause of death was likely a ruptured kidney caused by being struck by the projectiles.
A few weeks later, a five-year-old male kangaroo at the same zoo was slightly injured in a similar way, said the report posted on the network's website late on Thursday (April 19).
The report included pictures of the first kangaroo's smashed and nearly severed foot, and of the animal receiving treatment via intravenous drip before it died.
Visitors to the zoo were known to try to provoke the Australia marsupials to get them to display their signature hopping mode of locomotion using their powerful hind legs.
The report did not mention whether anyone was punished over the matter, but it said the dead female would be stuffed and put on display and the zoo would look to install security cameras to deter visitors from harming animals in future.
China's lightly regulated zoos and wildlife parks often make news for the wrong reasons, typically involving abysmal conditions in which animals are kept or insensitive actions by visitors in a country where the notion of animal rights is not deeply ingrained.
Among recent examples, horrified visitors to an animal park in eastern China's Jiangsu province last June watched as tigers killed a donkey that was released into their enclosure by investors angry over a business dispute related to the zoo, according to media reports.
A few months earlier, a zoo visitor died after he was mauled by tigers whose enclosure he entered in the city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai.