French tourists lose job for burning marsupial, fined over N600,000

The quokka, is a small marsupial (which is a mammal whose female has a pouch (the marsupium) containing the teats where the young are fed and carried) are considered an endangered species in Australia.

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2 French tourists have been fined by a court in Perth, Australia after a video of the pair burning a marsupial emerged.

The quokka, is a small marsupial (which is a mammal whose female has a pouch (the marsupium) containing the teats where the young are fed and carried) are considered an endangered species in Australia.

The duo, 24-year old Thibaud Jean Leon Vallet and 18-year old Jean Mickael Batrikian were each fined $3,130 (about N600,000).

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation however reported that the two men could not pay the entire fine so were spending one night in jail.

In a video taken by Vallet, Batrikian was seen igniting an aerosol spray producing a 10 inch flame which burned the quokka's head and body.

The judge proceed to call their behaviour "abhorrent" and said the decision to film the act was "perplexing".

Both men pleaded guilty and expressed remorse in court, though told media house Fairfax outside the court that they didn't hurt the quokka as they have pets at home.

Reports say the pair were backpackers on a working holiday and had spent three months on Rottnest Island, where quokkas are commonly found.

They have since lost their jobs.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List states that there are between 8,000 to 17,000 quokkas left in the world, most of which are in Australia.

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