VIDEO: ‘Sickening' moment teen allegedly attacks possum
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
SERIOUS animal cruelty charges have been laid over a "sickening and cruel" attack on a possum at Airlie Beach after a shocking video capturing the incident went viral.
A horrifying footage shows a man snatching a possum from a tree and unleashing a brutal assault on the defenceless animal.
Police have since charged a Cannonvale teenager with serious animal cruelty over the attack, which allegedly occurred about 10.30pm on Friday.
It is alleged the 19-year-old man dragged a possum from a tree near the balcony he was standing on and, while holding it by the tail, punched it multiple times.
The video then shows the man dropped the possum over the side of the balcony.
Police were alerted to the incident, which was captured and shared on Snapchat.
"The man's actions were horrid," Mackay District Acting Superintendent Steve O'Connell said.
"The incident was sickening and cruel to a defenceless animal."
The possum has not been located at this stage.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the footage was "appalling".
"The research not just in Australia has shown that deliberate, premeditated animal cruelty, which this was, is a precursor to other types of violence," Mr Beatty said.
"So we really need to take this seriously.
"We are delighted that police have charged someone."
Mr Beatty said the maximum penalty for serious animal cruelty was five years jail or a $220,000 fine.
The 19 year old will front Proserpine Magistrates Court next month.