Wombat stoning on Eyre Peninsula investigated

The video of a man chasing after and stoning a wombat has gone viral.
The video of a man chasing after and stoning a wombat has gone viral.

Police are investigating a video of an off-duty police officer stoning a wombat on a remote road in South Australia this week.

The video, posted to the Wombat Awareness Organisation's Facebook page, shows a car slowly following a wombat down a dirt road on the Eyre Peninsula before it stops and a shirtless man gets out, giving a thumbs up to the camera.

"Get up close," the driver says and the shirtless man picks up a stone and throws it into the wombat's side, causing it to run down the road.

The driver of the car can be heard laughing as it chases after the animal and can be heard saying "You got him, hit him, hit him, kill him".

The man then hits the wombat in the head twice with a stone, causing it to fall to the ground before he can be seen celebrating to the camera with his arms outstretched.

"You killed him!" the driver can be heard saying. "First bloke I've ever seen kill a wombat on foot, bro."

South Australian Police have identified the man in the video as a South Australian policeman.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he had viewed the video and found the actions portrayed to be "totally abhorrent and unacceptable".

"I am aware of the community outrage regarding this manner," he said.

"I want to reassure everybody that the actions in the video do not align with the values and behaviours I expect from my employees, nor does it align with community standards.

"Numerous employees of South Australia Police have also expressed to me that they, too, find the footage detestable and not consistent with their values."

A SA Police spokesperson said they were aware of the video and an inquiry would be done.

"At this time SAPOL can confirm they are taking the situation very seriously and are closely examining the video.

"An inquiry is being undertaken into this matter to first formally identify the man; and then take appropriate action as required."

The Wombat Awareness Organisation has launched calling for native animals to be protected under the Animal Welfare Act and for the man to be prosecuted.

The petition which notes that although the act of stoning the wombat to death was allowed under the Native Title Act and accepted as traditional hunting, it contradicted Part 3 Section 3 of the Animal Welfare Act.

"Heartbroken ... this is tragic," the post read.

"I am tired of reporting such cruelty for it to be ignored ...This has to stop!"

The petition had almost 15,000 signatures at 4.50pm AEDT.