By Tim Binnall
Authorities in Australia are on the hunt for a misguided teenager who made an adorable quokka smoke an e-cigarette and then foolishly posted footage of the cruel scene online. According to a local media report, the outrageous incident is believed to have occurred on Rottnest Island, which is a protective nature reserve that serves as the home to a colony of the diminutive creatures that look like a cartoon come to life. The location is a popular destination due to the delightful wallabies which have grown so accustomed to people that they now seek out attention from visitors rather than run away in fear. While the vast majority of tourists at Rottnest Island are respectful of the quokka, an occasional bad apple slips through the cracks as appears to be the case in this instance.
In the video, which was posted to social media, a young woman can be seen tricking one of the creatures into thinking that her e-cigarette is food and, in turn, forcing the little animal to vape. As one might imagine, the footage has sparked outrage in Australia and a strong rebuke from the country's RSPCA, which declared that "it's completely and utterly irresponsible and unacceptable for this poor defenseless, vulnerable animal to be subjected to that kind of cruelty." Since the video appeared online, authorities have launched an investigation into the matter and hope to identify the teenager who committed the dastardly deed.
Should she be brought to justice, the woman could face up to five years in prison and be forced to pay a whopping $50,000 fine for her actions. Shockingly, the forced vaping is actually the latest in what has been a bizarre series of incidents involving people mistreating the cuddly quokka on Rottnest Island. Over the last few years, various visitors have been caught kicking the creatures, feeding them alcohol, and, in a particularly jaw-dropping case, a French tourist lit one of the little wallabies on fire! As such, police may very well make an example of the teen, if they manage to track her down, in the hopes to dissuading future visitors to the island from behaving in similarly ugly fashion.