Christchurch man pleads guilty to animal cruelty in Australia after quokka incident
A Christchurch man who was charged with animal cruelty after claims he threw a native Australia animal off a jetty has pleaded guilty.
Bevin Denis Hames, 37, was accused by police of throwing a quokka into the ocean at Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia (WA) on Friday night.
However, in the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday, the man with a zoology degree defended himself by accepting he placed the animal in the water rather than threw it, the ABC reported.
The quokka, a marsupial, swam to shore and a ranger later found it, unharmed, according to The West Australian.
Hames said he had been demonstrating to friends the animals were good swimmers, the ABC reported.
His lawyer told the court Hames was not aware he was doing anything wrong and had no intention to.
Hames was granted a spent conviction and fined $2000 (NZ $2200).
Quokkas are found on smaller islands off the WA coast. Just one small colony exists on the mainland near Albany, WA.