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Video of Kangaroo on a Leash Sparks Debate: Should Wild Animals Be Treated Like Pets?

Mar 31, 2017 10:00 AM EDT
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Kangaroo
Kangaroos are listed as vulnerable, except for the Tasmanian forester kangaroo, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
(Photo : VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

A video of a kangaroo with a leash while strolling in Detroit has gone viral. The seven-second video was originally posted on Snapchat on Monday night, Insider reported.

The Internet had mix reactions about the kangaroo video -- some were amused while some were questioning the oddity of the scenery, protesting that exotic animals should be treated like domesticated ones. Michigan Live said concerned authorities investigated the ownership of the kangaroo.

"It is not legal to own a kangaroo in the city of Detroit," said Kelly McLaughlin, assistant director at the Detroit Animal Control Center.

In addition, the city has an ordinance stipulating that it is illegal to own any wild animals unless requirements such as specialized veterinary care, housing, a sanctuary or zoo environment are fulfilled.

Read Also: Ancient Poop Reveals the Main Culprit Behind the Extinction of Australian Megafauna

CBS Detroit tracked down the man in the video. They found out he was Javon Stacks, owner of a state and federally licensed company called Exotic Zoo, a traveling zoo that brings exotic animals to schools, libraries and kids' parties. They have been around for 10 years already.

"You have many inner city kids, they don't have any transportation to the zoo, their parents don't have the finances," Stacks told the news site. "So we perform at libraries and schools for free and through grants. We like to educate people."

Asked why he thought of bringing the kangaroo out on the crowded street near the Detroit Golf Club, he said, "There's not a lot of space for a kangaroo to hop around inside so I brought him outside. That was the last animal in our show, someone was riding by and they were just filming us and they put it on the internet. A picture is worth a thousand words."

As mentioned by News.com.au, Exotic Zoo aims to educate children about mammals, reptiles, predators, prey, the food chain and more.

Kangaroos are listed as vulnerable, except for the Tasmanian forester kangaroo, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. National Geographic reported that they belong to the animal family Macropus, literally "big foot." A kangaroo can jump 30 feet in one leap, all thanks to its powerful legs.

Read Also: Extinct Kangaroo Ancestor Wasn't Much of a Hopper  

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